If Poland does not drop its new disciplinary system for judges, the country could bear the tens of billions of euros from the European Union's corona recovery fund.
That is a hard condition, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday.
Poland is claiming 36 billion euros from the fund, but the commission has still not approved the application.
That has everything to do with how Poland deals with the judiciary, she hinted earlier.
Poland introduced new oversight rules for judges, who can now be suspended, transferred or otherwise punished by a disciplinary committee.
The Polish parliament, in which the governing parties call the shots, can interfere in the composition of this college.
Von der Leyen now firmly calls the rollback of the new regime a requirement.
"We want a clear commitment that Poland will dismantle the disciplinary chamber, close or reform the disciplinary system and start reappointing the judges who have been dismissed," the committee chair said.
She speaks of a "
conditio sine qua non"
, a condition without which nothing is possible.
At last week's EU summit, the Netherlands and other EU countries also stated that Poland should not receive money from the recovery fund if it does not give in.
Poland complains of blackmail and accusing the EU of taking more and more powers to itself.
On Wednesday, the European Court of Justice already imposed a penalty of 1 million euros per day on Poland as long as the new disciplinary chamber is not abolished.
Poles expelled from European Councils for the Judiciary
On Thursday, the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) announced that the Polish Council for the Judiciary is no longer part of the network.
Polish membership was previously suspended.
According to the ENCJ, the Polish Council no longer meets the requirements for membership.
For example, the Polish Council does not meet the condition of 'independent judiciary', which guarantees that justice is administered in a Member State independently of the legislative or executive power.
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