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Monday, March 27, 2023

European Commission sues Polish authorities over controversial rulings on European rule of law News

The EU has for several years been at odds with the ruling government in Warsaw over its judicial reforms, accusing the country’s authorities of hampering the independence of judges. The conflict escalated after a July 2021 ruling by the Constitutional Court (CC) of Poland. Under the influence of the ruling party, the Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional the decisions of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Polish judicial reforms, notes Le Figaro.

Tensions escalated further on October 7, 2021, when Poland’s Constitutional Court challenged the European rule of law, declaring certain articles of EU treaties “incompatible” with the country’s constitution. Brussels said “Poland’s Constitutional Court no longer meets the requirements of an independent and impartial court”.

Poland is already required to pay a daily fine of one million euros for non-compliance with the CJEU regulation on the working time of judges in Poland, which is imposed from November 2021. The amount of these fines to date exceeds 440 million euros, part of which is taken from European funds paid to the country.

The law to abolish the controversial body, the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court of Poland, entered into force in July 2022, but did not satisfy the European Commission and did not lead to the lifting of the sanction. Poland’s president last week asked the country’s Constitutional Court to reconsider a law on disciplinary matters that Warsaw says should allow the country to receive the equivalent of 35 billion euros in European recovery funds.

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