Daniel Freund

5. October 2023 Anti-Corruption

Activating the Rule of Law Conditionality - The Case of Poland | Press Conference & Study Presentation 11.10. With MEPs T. Strik and D. Freund

Should the EU Rule of Law Conditionality Mechanism be activated against Poland? Greens/EFA MEPs Tineke Strik and Daniel Freund will address this question at a press conference, presenting the findings of an independent legal report authored by renowned EU law scholars Laurent Pech, Anna Wójcik, and Patryk Wachowiec.

When and Where?

Wednesday, October 11th, 09h30,

European Parliament, Anna Politkovskaya press conference room (SPAAK 0A50)

Online participation is possible with the following link: https://ep.interactio.eu/66e2-hy1p-1w4u


After several years of rule of law backsliding, Poland’s rule of law crisis has mutated into breakdown mode. Since PiS came to power in 2015, the ruling party has systematically attacked the independence of the judiciary and prosecutors, politically captured the bodies to which they are accountable, curtailed numerous fundamental rights and repeatedly refused to implement EU law. The EU-Commission has  taken several actions in response, including through legal cases, activation of the Article 7 procedure, the freezing of more than 70 billion Euros of cohesion funds, and the withholding of the recovery funds. However, the EU-Commission has until now refused to apply the rule of law conditionality mechanism – a tool specifically designed to address rule of law violations in EU member states. The EU can freeze up to 100% of EU funds if grave violations of the rule of law are being diagnosed.

We have asked renowned legal experts – scholars Laurent Pech, Anna Wójcik, and Patryk Wachowiec – to assess the rule of law violations in Poland and to determine if the application of the rule of law conditionality mechanism is warranted. In this press conference they will present their findings, addressing the following questions:

  • What are the gravest rule of law violations in Poland at the moment that fall within the scope of the rule of law conditionality mechanism?
  • To what extent do the “reforms” of the PiS-led government constitute a deliberate and systematic attack on the independence of the judiciary, the prosecution and financial oversight bodies, and therefore the rule of law?
  • To what extent do the rule of law violations in Poland pose a risk for the distribution of EU funds in the country?
  • What measures has the EU-Commission taken so far and to what effect?
  • What actions would need to be taken to remedy the situation?

About the authors:

Professor Laurent Pech is a Full Professor of Law, Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin; Senior Research Fellow, CEU Democracy Institute

Dr. Anna Wójcik is the Co-founder of the Osiatyński Archive and Rule of Law in Poland

Patryk Wachowiec is a Legal analyst at the Civil Development Forum (FOR); Co-founder and editor of Rule of Law in Poland


The EU can be our best tool in the fight against corruption, money laundering and tax evasion. But it must also be used in the right way. In the future, the EU should fight corruption much more decisively. That is why I have set up an Intergroup against corruption in the European Parliament.