Poland was sentenced on Wednesday to pay a fine of one million euros per day to the European Union (UE) for not having stopped the activity of the disciplinary chamber of his Supreme Court, a key institution in a controversial reform of the judicial system.
The measure is part of the context of a harsh dispute between the European Union and Poland on the rule of law and the independence of justice.
On July 14, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) ordered Poland to immediately cease the activities of the disciplinary chamber of its Supreme Court.
In a first reaction, the Polish government accused the CJEU of “exceeding and abusing” its powers regarding financial sanctions, according to the Polish Justice Secretary, Sebastian Kaleta.
The head of the Polish government, Mateusz MorawieckiIn a nationalist spirit, he recently pledged to abolish this chamber, the abolition of which had been announced by Warsaw in August. However, it still works.
The body, launched within the framework of a controversial reform of Polish justice, is in charge of supervising judges and has the power to withdraw their immunity and to make them criminally prosecuted or have their salary reduced.
In July, the CJEU considered that this chamber “does not offer all the guarantees of impartiality and independence” and that it is not “safe from direct or indirect influences from the legislative and executive powers.”
“Respect for the provisional measures on July 14 is necessary to avoid serious and irreparable damage to the legal order of the European Union as well as to the values on which this Union is founded, especially the rule of law,” he said Wednesday the CJEU, based in Luxembourg.
On September 7, the European Comission He demanded that the CJEU impose a financial sanction, claiming that “the judicial systems of the EU must be independent and equal”.
Reactivation plan, frozen
According to a European source, the fine was to be applied from Wednesday, as soon as Poland had been notified of the Court’s decision.
Poland and the EU are at odds over a series of controversial judicial reforms in Warsaw. For BrusselsThese measures conflict with democratic freedoms but for the Polish government they are necessary to end the corruption of judges.
Tensions have increased since October 7 constitutional Court Polish considered that certain parts of European law were incompatible with the Constitution of the country. This caused a stir among Europeans, who saw in that ruling an unprecedented attack on the primacy of EU law and respect for the CJEU’s decision.
Poland, meanwhile, assures that it wants to continue being part of the bloc, which it joined in 2004, but has repeatedly denounced the “blackmail” exercised, according to Warsaw, by Brussels.
Poland’s 36 billion euro ($ 41.8 billion) post-covid recovery plan is currently frozen by the European Commission, which calls for guarantees of independence from the Polish judicial system.