New chapter for Polish constitution by July 2011?

The Polish Sejm – © by Philipp Köker 2008

The Polish daily “Rzeczpospolita” reported yesterday that the ruling Civic Platform is planning to push through constitutional amendments before July 1, 2011, when Poland takes over the rotating EU presidency from Hungary.

In order to adapt the Polish constitution to Poland’s (still relatively) new role as an EU member, the government plans to add a new chapter to the constitution. The additional chapter – to which president Bronisław Komorowski submitted his proposals last November – is mainly meant to provide necessary regulations for an adoption of the Euro but also contains clauses specifying the competences and the mode of cooperation between the Polish government and the two chambers of parliament, Sejm and Senat, regarding EU-related matters.

Until now, however, the Civic Platform’s junior coalition partner – the Polish Peasant’s Party (PSL) – as well as the oppositionist ‘Law and Justice’ and ‘Poland comes first’ oppose the constitutional amendment as they think it would be premature to talk about the introduction of the common currency. To change the constitution, a 2/3 majority in both chambers is needed. Momentarily the Civic Platform holds about 40 per cent of the seats in the Sejm and 60 per cent of the seats in the Senat. Thus, even with the (unlikely) help of the opposition party ‘Democratic Left Alliance – SLD’ (9 per cent of the seats in the Sejm) constitutional amendments would not be possible.

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