ModernizationFour European associations of judges have sued the European Union for agreeing to Poland’s coronavirus recovery plan. The unions said in a statement on Sunday that they had lodged an objection with the European Court of Justice.
In June, the European Commission approved Poland’s request for €24 billion in support and €12 billion in ultra-cheap loans. The commission had long refused to grant permission because Poland would not allow judges in the country to perform their work independently, but it gave in after concessions from the government in Warsaw.
As Poland makes great sacrifices to help its neighbor Ukraine during the war and receives many refugees from that country, it has become difficult for the committee to keep its back straight. At the suggestion of the European Commission, European finance ministers approved the Polish plan in June.
Conditions imposed by the European Union on Poland for the payment of European grants “fall short of ensuring effective protection of the independence of judges and the judiciary, and do not take into account the rulings of the European Court of Justice,” the organizations complain in a joint statement.
The European Union has set three conditions for the effective disbursement of funds: the dissolution of the disciplinary chamber of the Polish Supreme Court, the reform of the disciplinary system for judges, and the possibility of reviewing the files of sanctioned judges.
This is not enough for judges’ organizations. Moreover, the organizations argue that the green light harms the position of suspended Polish judges and conflicts with European Court rulings that member states must respect. For example, the court demanded the immediate reinstatement of suspended judges and without judicial process, while the case of member states amounts to more than a year of protracted proceedings with unknown results, the organizations say.
The unions want the EU to withdraw consent if the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg rules in their favour.
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