ECJ ruling: Judicial reform in Poland is a clear violation of EU law
Poland’s judicial reform of 2019 violates European law. The judges in Luxembourg came to this conclusion today and upheld the complaint of the European Commission. Essentially, this is about the Polish government having created possibilities to discipline judges for the application of EU law, among other things. According to the ECJ, this constitutes an unlawful interference with the independence of the judiciary. The government in Warsaw has already been fined up to one million euros per day for this violation.
The ruling from Luxembourg comes just one day after several hundred thousand people in Poland took to the streets tp protest against the dismantling of democracy in their country. The protests were prompted by a new law setting up a commission with the alleged aim of investigating Russian influence. It is feared that this law will mainly serve to prevent members of the opposition from standing for office following the upcoming election.
Daniel Freund (Greens/EFA), Member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control, comments:
“The independence of the judiciary is no longer guaranteed in Poland. Recent reform efforts have not changed this. Today, the Court makes it clear that the judicial system in Poland is not merely a local interpretation of the rule of law, but clearly violates the principle of separation of powers. As the Polish government has so far made no effort to deviate from its course, the European Commission must bring forward financial penalties until the CJEU rulings are implemented in Poland.”
“On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of Polish citizens went onto the streets to protest against the PiS government’s anti-rule of law policy. The European Commission must make it clear that it stands on the side of Polish citizens and is using all tools to defend democracy and the rule of law. This includes triggering the rule of law mechanism. Poland is an important ally in supporting Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression. Especially considering a warmongering dictator in the Kremlin, it is important that democracy and the rule of law function in Poland.”
The press release from Luxembourg can be found at the following link:
The European Commission must make it clear that it stands on the side of Polish citizens and is using all tools to defend democracy and the rule of law.