04 Mar 2022

The battle for supremacy: EU and Romania

In late 2021, the Romanian Constitutional Court issued a statement regarding the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (”Judgment”) in Cases C-357/19 Euro Box Promotion and Others, C379/19 DNA – Oradea Territorial Service, C-547/19 “Romanian Judges Forum”, C-811/19 FQ and others and C-840/19 NC.

The Judgment established that national judges are entitled to disregard the decisions of the Romanian Constitutional Court that are not aligned with the EU law without any risk of disciplinary measures.   Moreover, it addressed the Romanian justice reforms and pointed out the mandatory character of the EU’s recommendations, embedded in the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, as part of a transitional measure to facilitate Romania’s efforts to reform its judiciary.   The reasoning behind the Judgment and supremacy of EU law seems to be that the overriding of national bodies’ decisions would guarantee the independence of Romanian judges.

The Romanian Constitutional Court challenged the Judgment and ruled that national judges will be able to override provisions of Romanian law in favor of the EU law only after the Romanian Constitution is amended.

An interesting fact is that Romania is not the first EU country that challenged the decision of the CJEU.  Germany and Poland did the same, however, to date, the disputes have not reached a conclusion.

It is not yet foreseeable whether the Romanian Constitutional Court’s stance will trigger a broader conflict between this member state and the EU.  In any case, based on these three-member states’ actions, we may expect that the future will bring more ‘’battles for supremacy’’ between the EU and national laws.


Ivana Stojanović Raišić, Jelena Škorić, Milica Novaković