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The decision was provisionally approved by head members of the Commissioners’ cabinets on Monday afternoon. They have already prepared it to be officially approved at a meeting of EU Commissioners chaired by Ursula von der Leyen this Tuesday. - It is the last warning for Warsaw - says one of our sources in Brussels.
On Tuesday, the European Commission has set a August 16 deadline for the Polish government to comply with last week's decisions of the EU Court of Justice. As part of a new "interim measure", the CJEU has ordered Poland to immediately suspend all activities of the Supreme Court's Disciplinary Chamber and ruled the country’s disciplinary system for judges as incompatible with EU law.
The Commission is looking at imposing financial sanctions on Poland
While fulfilling the entire CJEU judgment would require statutory changes, an instant indicator of Poland's good will is the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court, which according to the latest CJEU ruling should cease to operate immediately. Meanwhile, the First President of the Supreme Court Małgorzata Manowska has already given the Chamber a green light to continue adjudicating. Should this still be the case by next week, the European Commission intends to ask the CJEU to impose financial sanctions on Poland as soon as possible, including a cumulative fine for every day until the Disciplinary Chamber is finally frozen. The CJEU is not bound by any specific cap in this matter, and if Poland refuses to pay up – even if this would be a precedent - the money could ultimately be deducted from EU funds intended for Poland.
The European Commission wants to help enforce the CJEU's decision and the primacy of EU law also regarding the judiciary system. Last week, Poland’s disputed Constitutional Tribunal ruled that Poland should not enforce the CJEU's interim measures on the judiciary because they allegedly exceed the scope of powers Poland has entrusted to the EU in EU treaties. Moreover, in early August, the Tribunal is expected to complete its consideration of a much broader request from Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, also seeking a declaration that the CJEU is acting beyond its powers in ruling on Poland’s judicial matters.
While the European Commission still has some time to assess Poland’s Recovery and Resilience plan, the closer we get to the August 3 deadline, the more pressing the question will be whether the delay is a form of imposing pressure on Warsaw for trying to undermine the CJEU decision. What makes such a scenario even more plausible is the fact that a week and a half ago, before the Constitutional Tribunal’s verdict, we heard from three different sources in the European Commission that the Polish Recovery and Resilience Plan is on its way to being approved in the coming days.
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