A long time ago, i.e. shortly before Poland’s accession to the European Union, I was at an event of the international legal network to which I belonged. I remember a certain Finn’s name, Henrik Hastö, being intensely warned about what his EU country entered into for a lawyer. I believed him, nodded my head, but rather without conviction.
It must be said that in 2004 there was no major shock to the professional life of most Polish lawyers. Not after that. Most EU regulations enter Poland through Polish legal acts. Even regulations, not knowing why, are covered by Polish laws, such as the most famous of the EU regulations in recent years, GDPR, i.e. GDPR.
The fact that EU regulations are directly applicable in the member states is known. Not everyone knows, however, that the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union actually leads to the direct application of the directive as well.
The reasoning of the Court relates to the equality directives (2000/54 and 2006/78), but it is likely to apply to other issues as well. It consists in the fact that if a certain right arises from constitutional acts of the European Union, i.e. primarily from the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, national courts are obliged to interpret the law in such a way that it is possible to apply the relevant act. The point is that this top-shelf provision is to be understood as defined in a particular directive. Thus, in practice, directives are applied directly to the legal orders of the Member States.