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Poland asks EU to suspend €1M-a-day fine for controversial judicial reform

Poland asks EU to suspend €1M-a-day fine for controversial judicial reform

Warsaw and Brussels have repeatedly clashed over Poland’s disregard for the EU rule of law.
Poland officially asked the European Union to suspend the daily fine of €1 million that was imposed by the Court of Justice of the EU last year over its controversial changes to the judicial system.

Poland’s European Affairs Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk told reporters Friday that a motion to suspend the penalties by the CJEU, which were imposed in October 2021, was submitted on Thursday, arguing that there are “new legal circumstances” and “the CJEU judgment has been implemented.”

Poland was fined €1 million a day by the top European court for ignoring a ruling ordering it to suspend its judicial reforms and restore the independence of judges.

Szynkowski vel Sęk said that the controversial Disciplinary Chamber, whose members were mostly elected by a parliament in which the right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS) has a majority, and which had the power to suspend judges and cut their salaries, had been replaced by the Chamber of Professional Responsibility, which “guarantees independence.” Critics argue this is misleading as members of the chamber will be chosen by Polish President Andrzej Duda, who was also a member of PiS.

He added that Warsaw is now waiting for a response from the European Commission and announced that he will go to Brussels next week, with the aim of getting Poland access to EU funds. The Commission has been withholding these over Poland’s refusal to adhere to European democratic and rule-of-law standards.

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