EU Threatens Polish Government With Legal Repercussions For A New Law That Was Approved
The EU is bound to pursue legal action against the government of Poland which is known to be right-wing oriented. The government has brought forth new legislation which supposedly gives the justice minister complete power over the chief justices of common courts. The minister can now replace them as he/she pleases which the EU Commission considers an undermining of the court systems in Poland.
Poland revealed which was approved by the country’s President Andrzej Duda even after organized protesters fought against it. Poland could face trial at the European Court of Justice and even a fine for this action which is yet to be determined.
There are two more controversial bills which aim to reform the country. They were already given the green light by the parliament but in the end were vetoed by Duda. One of them would have reinforced political control over the Supreme Court, the other would allow parliament to choose members of a body designed to protect the integrity of the court system and its independence.
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo has vowed to push ahead with all the reforms despite Duda’s vetoes. The Commission has also warned of even tougher measures if the governing Law and Justice Party (which has raised EU concerns since winning the Polish elections back in 2015) proceeds further with deeper and more radical reforms of the country’s judicial system.
In Warsaw, Duda’s chief of staff Krzysztof Szczerski warned on Saturday that the Commission had “entered a path that leads nowhere”, saying organisation of the courts was the sovereign preserve of member states.
European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans on Wednesday warned the “commission is ready to immediately trigger the article 7 procedure” if Supreme Court justices are sacked. That would mean a total blockage of Poland in the EU decision making process, a sort of end-game weapon that the EU can use against member states.