Poland was on Wednesday ordered to pay a fine of one million euros a day to Brussels for failing to end the proceedings of the Supreme Court’s disciplinary chamber, the main body of the Polish judiciary’s controversial reform.
This financial approval was requested by the European Commission on September 7, and this amount must be paid. The decision comes as part of a long-running dispute between Brussels and Poland over the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.
Mateusz Morawiecki, head of the Polish nationalist conservative government, has promised to abolish the regulatory chamber, which was already announced by Warsaw in August, but continues to operate. The organization has been accused by Brussels of undermining the autonomy of judges.
On July 14, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) ordered Poland to immediately suspend operations in this room.
Disregarding this decision, the European Executive called on the CJEU to impose sanctions, believing that “the judiciary of the EU must be independent and fair.”
“It is necessary to comply with the EU law and order and the temporary measures ordered on July 14 to avoid serious and irreparable damage to the values established by this EU, especially the values of the state,” the Luxembourg-based CJEU said on Wednesday.
The lack of independence of the Polish judiciary and the primacy of European law over national law was one of the dominant topics at the Twenty-seventh European Summit last weekend.
Warsaw has been in conflict with Brussels for years over judicial reforms by the ruling Nationalist Conservative Party (PiS), which has been accused of undermining the independence of the judiciary.
Tensions have risen since the October 7 ruling by the Polish Constitutional Court, which declared that some articles of European treaties were inconsistent with the national constitution. A decision condemned by Brussels as an unprecedented attack on the primacy of European law and the jurisdiction of the CJEU.
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