As the ‘Polexit’ row heats up, Brussels threatens to withhold Poland’s EU funding.
BRUSSELS is preparing to take legal action against Poland after the EU’s top court determined that the country’s judicial punishment system violates EU law.
Because of the dispute over the rule of law, the European Commission has considered withholding money from Poland’s portion of the coronavirus recovery fund. “In that light, we are also analyzing the Polish decision,” an EU spokesman said. The EU’s executive body has stated that it will not “hesitate” to take legal action against Warsaw.
It comes after the European Court of Justice found that the Polish government’s creation of a new disciplinary tribunal for judges was in violation of EU law.
The Luxembourg-based court claimed it lacked appropriate assurances of impartiality and independence, as well as protection from political influence.
“This underlines our worries about the condition of the rule of law in Poland,” the EU official continued.
“EU law takes precedence over national legislation. The European Court of Justice’s judgements, including temporary measures, are binding on national courts.
“The Commission expects Poland to completely and accurately implement all of the ECJ’s decisions.”
As the long-running dispute between Brussels and Warsaw reaches a fever pitch, the ruling has fuelled worries of a so-called “Polexit.”
“We are continually in the process of a legal ‘Polexit,’ which is taking place step by step,” said Adam Bodnar, Poland’s departing ombudsman.
“We’ll see where it takes us and whether we ever realize we’re on the wrong track.”
On Wednesday, Poland’s top constitutional court declared that an ECJ verdict against the country’s judicial reforms was “not in conformity” with the constitution.
The verdict was “against intervention, usurpation, and legal aggression by organs of the European Union,” according to Polish justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro.
Former EU Council President Donald Tusk predicted that the verdict will lead to Poland’s exit from the bloc.
“It is not Poland, but (Law and Justice Party leader) Jaroslaw Kaczynski who is quitting the EU with his party,” he stated.
The former Polish prime minister stated, “Only we Poles can properly counter that.”
Poland joined the EU in 2004, but long-standing disagreements have brought Warsaw and Brussels closer together.
The dispute has been stoked by the ruling Law and Justice party, which is pushing forward with its conservative reform program 30 years after communism fell apart.
Bigwigs in the European Parliament have expressed their displeasure with the Polish court’s “Brinkwire Summary News.”