Addressing the College of Europe in Bruges, Prime Minister Alexander de Croo (Open Vld) warned his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki on Wednesday against escalating the conflict over the basic rules of the rule of law and the European project. At the same time, the European Court of Justice is imposing a daily fine of one million euros on Poland for its refusal to comply with the court’s request to suspend the activities of the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court.
The court explains in connection. The court in Luxembourg had on 14 July requested, as a temporary measure, Poland to immediately suspend all activities of the disciplinary division of the Supreme Court. According to the court, that department called into question the independence and impartiality of the judiciary in Poland.
The so-called Disciplinary Chamber, a new institution created in 2018 as part of controversial reforms of the Polish judiciary, is to oversee judges and has the power to lift their immunity until they can face criminal charges or lower their salaries.
Because Poland delayed implementation, the European Commission again went to court on September 9, this time demanding financial sanctions. The vice president of the court is handling this now. Poland must pay the Commission 1 million euros each day until it fully implements the interim measures on 14 July.
The Commission has been campaigning against judicial reforms in Poland for years. In addition to triggering the Article 7 procedure of the European Treaty and the breach procedure in court, it is also currently preventing the payment of funds from the European Recovery Plan to Poland.
Finally, the Commission is also considering activating the new mechanism that makes it possible to block European funds for member states that violate the rule of law. This mechanism is currently contested by Poland and Hungary before the Court of Justice.
Last month, the court also sentenced Poland to a daily fine of 500,000 euros for refusing to comply with an order to close the Turow lignite mine as a temporary measure. The court did so at the request of the neighboring Czech Republic.
“You are playing with fire”
“To those who give incendiary interviewers and think it necessary to declare a new world war in the Financial Times, I would say: you are playing a dangerous game, you are playing with fire when you are at war with yourself for political reasons. European colleagues,” de Croo pointed out to Difficult Moravian language In the Monday edition of the British Stock Exchange.
Morawiecki threatened to use “all available resources” if the European Union continued to oppose the judicial reforms implemented by his national government at home. According to the government, it is necessary to eradicate corruption, but according to the European Union it undermines the separation of powers in the country. The dispute came to a head when the Constitutional Court in Warsaw ruled, after a question from Morawiecki earlier this month, that parts of European treaties violated the Polish constitution.
According to de Croo, this attack is “totally unacceptable”. This time it is not about the “misguided arrogance of the so-called old member states”, according to the prime minister, but rather about the condemnation of “the overwhelming majority of member states, from the Baltic states to Portugal, who agree that our union is a union of values without a monetary machine”. According to him, Polexit is not the way out of the impasse. “We must challenge them. We must not fall into their trap, but we must listen to a message 100,000 Polish citizens took to the streets carrying the Polish and European flagsside by side,” the prime minister said.
But according to de Croo, member states should not leave this fight only to the European Commission and the European Court of Justice. “This is a fundamental political problem that requires a political solution, by the Council and the European Parliament. By establishing and enforcing the fundamental rules of our Union: the rule of law, democracy and all the fundamental rights – things that have been granted for so long but are today, and by making these ground rules enforceable Better than it is now.”
Unlimited free access to Showbytes? And that can!
Sign in or create an account and never miss a thing from the stars.
“Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert.”