EU Court of Justice sentences Poland to daily fine of one million euros

The entrance to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg (illustrative image).

AFP - JOHN THYS

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2 min

The disciplinary chamber of the Polish Supreme Court had been in the crosshairs of the European Commission and the EU Court of Justice for more than two years.

After a long legal-political standoff between Warsaw and the EU, Poland was ordered this Wednesday by the Court of Justice of the Union to pay a daily fine of one million euros following a complaint from the Commission.

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With our correspondent in Brussels,

Pierre Benazet

For the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Polish Supreme Court cannot be regarded as an independent or impartial tribunal.

Likewise, according to European judges, the disciplinary chamber cannot even be considered as a court either within the meaning of European law or within the meaning of Polish law.

What poses a problem is at the same time its composition, the extent of its powers and the conditions of its creation, that is to say in fact the political interference of the Polish government in its establishment.

On July 14, the Court of Justice ordered Poland to stop the activities of the disciplinary chamber.

Since then, the government had

half-heartedly made a few unsuccessful promises

on an upcoming review of this chamber.

A conviction that risks relaunching the standoff

The Court of Justice of the EU considers that since its July order the disciplinary chamber has in fact continued its work without modification, hence this penalty of one million euros per day, in the lower range of what was expected.

Poland will therefore have to pay this penalty as long as the disciplinary chamber, which has been entrusted with the possibility of dismissing judges, is not abolished. 

The long debate at the European summit with the Polish Prime Minister was supposed to have paved the way for appeasement on respect for the rule of law, but this condemnation above all risks relaunching the standoff between the European Commission and Poland.

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  • European Union

  • Poland

  • Justice

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