Daniel Freund

7. September 2021 Anti-Corruption

Commission seeks sanctions against Poland: the right step to protect the rule of law

The European Commission has just brought a request for financial sanctions against Poland before the European Court of Justice (ECJ). This is because the Polish government has not yet implemented an ECJ ruling regarding the independence of its judiciary from July 15. The ECJ had decided that the so-called “disciplinary chambers”, which are politically controlled and staffed by politically appointed judges, violate EU law and must be abolished. 

Daniel Freund, Green negotiator on the rule of law mechanism (in the Budgetary Control Committee), comments:

“The European Parliament’s pressure on rule of law is paying off. Financial sanctions against Warsaw are the right move by the EU Commission. It is not acceptable that the rule of law is being violated while billions in EU funds continue to flow. The sanctions are painful and the most effective means to enforce the rule of law in Europe. Brussels must now keep up the pressure and finally use the rule of law mechanism to stop the erosion of democracy in Poland.”

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus recovery funds for Poland & Hungary frozen

The disbursement of billions of euros in coronavirus recovery funds to Poland and Hungary had already been suspended by the Commission recently due to rule of law concerns in both Member States. This was confirmed yesterday (Monday) by Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis: