“Poland cannot and should not pay”

The Polish Minister of Justice estimated Thursday, October 28 that his country should not pay the penalties imposed by the European justice under the controversial justice reform and the non-closure of a lignite mine.

«Whether in the case of illegal sanctions against (the mine of) Turów (…) or in the case of sanctions for changes in the judicial system, Poland cannot and should not pay a single zloty.Zbigniew Ziobro told the press. On Wednesday, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) sentenced Poland to a fine of one million euros per day for non-compliance with one of its judgments in which it had ordered on July 14 the immediate cessation of the activities of the disciplinary chamber of the Polish Supreme Court. This body, responsible for supervising Polish judges, has the power to lift their immunity to expose them to criminal prosecution or reduce their salaries.

Tensions exacerbated by the fine

Warsaw and Brussels have been at loggerheads for years over contested judicial reforms put in place by the government led by the conservative nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party. Brussels believes that the reforms hamper democratic freedoms, but Poland says they are necessary to eradicate corruption among judges. In September, the European Court also ordered Poland to pay a daily fine of 500,000 euros for failing to shut down a huge lignite mine doomed to moaning by the neighboring Czech Republic.

The fines risk worsening the crisis between the EU and Poland, which the Constitutional Court called into question earlier this month the primacy of community law. The dispute was on the menu at the EU summit last week, in which Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said his country was “ready for dialogue»But would not act«under the pressure of blackmail“. He later accused the EU of pointing to a “gun to the templeFrom Poland by threatening it with sanctions.

Several capitals consider, for their part, inconceivable the approval of the Polish stimulus plan of 36 billion euros, currently blocked by the Commission which calls for guarantees on the independence of the judicial system.

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