The The European Commission approved it on Wednesday Poland’s recovery plan after months of negotiations with the country over judicial independence issues, which could allow Warsaw to receive 35.4 billion euros in planned reforms and investments in European funds.
The European Commission is calling for Poland to reform its “disciplinary regime for judges” in order to ensure “the independence of the judiciary”. Judicial reform was one of the main points of contention between Poland and the European Union. In October last year, the European Court of Justice imposed a fine of one million euros a day on Warsaw for failing to take precautionary measures, which required it to repeal a reform through which it set up a disciplinary chamber of judges.
Another case at the time sparked conflict between the two sides as a ruling by the Polish Constitutional Court denied some parts of the EU treaties took precedence over national laws, putting the country outside the EU legal system.
“All disciplinary cases against judges are handled by a court different from the current Disciplinary Chamber, which meets the requirements of EU law in accordance with the Court of Justice and is therefore independent, impartial and established by law,” the statement said. This is stated in the statement of the European Commission. The Commission also notes that judges who have been affected by the Chamber’s decisions have the right to have their case heard.
The proposal was implemented despite the support of two vice-presidents of the community institute, the Liberal Margaret Vestager and the Socialist Franz Timmermans, reports Europa Press. However, three other members of the commission declared “written opposition” because they were not present at the session and could not vote. They include Vera Zhurova, Vice President for Rule of Law, Didier Reynders, Justice Commissioner, and Ilva Johansson, Home Affairs Commissioner.
“We believe that if our decision is approved by the council, these commitments will be fulfilled, but we will analyze this compliance very strongly,” said Paolo Gentiloni, the European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, who declined to comment on the vote. Before the plan is approved.
Brussels also stressed that Poland must prove that these goals have been achieved before any payment from the recovery fund. The country no longer has the right to receive an advance on its allocation for simple approval of the plan, as has happened in the case of countries whose plans were approved months ago.
If the Council (EU countries) also gives the green light to the plan, Poland could receive a total of € 23.9 billion in transfers and € 11.5 billion in loans from the EU Post-Pandemic Recovery Fund by 2026.
The approval of the plan, Gentiloni explained, is a separate procedure from the community case that Poland has opened due to problems with the rule of law, which could eventually end in the abolition of its right to vote in the council.
Source: El Diario