Sunday, December 5

Brussels asks the European Court of Justice for economic sanctions against Poland

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

Challenging the primacy of European law can cost the Polish government dearly. The European Comission has decided to take action definitively and request the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) imposing a daily fine Poland for failing to comply with the precautionary measures and the European judgment of mid-July that demanded the immediate suspension of the disciplinary regime of the Polish Supreme Court, considering that it does not comply with European law. “The judicial systems in the EU must be independent and fair. The rights of EU citizens must be guaranteed in the same way, regardless of where they live in the EU ”, recalled the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

The case concerns the operation of the disciplinary chamber of the Polish Supreme Court, which, according to the vice president Vera Jourová, continues to organize hearings and thus breach the judgment of the European court, as well as the suspension of other provisions of Polish law that affect judicial independence. Brussels wants the CJEU to impose a daily fine as long as the measures contained in the judgments of last July are not fully applied, although it leaves it up to the judges to specify the amount. “We have not indicated an amount, we leave it up to the Court to set the amount,” added spokesman Eric Mamer.

“I have always said that the Commission will not hesitate to take all necessary measures to ensure the full application of European legislation. In July the Court of Justice issued two key judgments to protect judicial independence in Poland ”and“ it is essential that you fully comply with them. That is why the Commission, as guardian of the treaties, has adopted this decision ”, explained the commissioner of justice, Didier Reynders.

New ultimatum

In addition, Brussels has sent a letter of formal notice to the Polish authorities for not having adopted the necessary measures to comply with the ruling of July 15, which states that Polish legislation on the disciplinary regime against judges is not compatible with European law. The community executive sent a first warning letter on July 20. The Polish authorities responded on August 16 but in light of the decision of the Community Executive, the response has not been satisfactory.

“Having examined the reply, the Commission considers that Poland has not taken all the necessary measures. For example, the Polish authorities recently opened a disciplinary investigation against an ordinary court judge who applied the July 14 order in a case pending before him. In addition, the Disciplinary Chamber continues to function ”, complains Brussels about the sentence that affects the precautionary measures.

Regarding the judgment of July 15, the Commission considers that Poland also did not adopt the necessary measures to enforce it. “Poland reported on the intention to dismantle the Discipline Chamber in its current form, but without providing further details. For example, the President of the Disciplinary Chamber continued to designate disciplinary courts of first instance to hear disciplinary cases from ordinary court judges “, advises the Commission. If Warsaw’s response to this new ultimatum is again insufficient, the next step will be to open a new front before the Court of Justice.

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