The penalty that Poland must pay to the European Union for refusing to suspend the activities of the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court in Warsaw has risen to “more than 160 million euros”. This is what European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said in the European Parliament. Part of the amount has already been deducted from EU subsidies for Poland.
It was the Court of Justice that imposed a daily fine of one million euros on Poland last October. Warsaw refused at the time, and still refuses to comply with the court’s decision to suspend the work of the disciplinary division of the Supreme Court. This disciplinary chamber, a new institution created in 2018 as part of controversial reforms to the Polish judiciary, is to oversee judges and has the power to waive their immunity until they can face criminal charges or lower their salaries.
Meanwhile, Reynders said the fine had already risen to more than 160 million euros. Because Poland refuses to pay, the first installment of 69 million euros in European support for Poland has already been deducted. The second installment of 42 million euros will be withheld by mid-May.
In September, Poland was also found guilty of refusing to shut down the Toro lignite mine. Meanwhile, the case was settled because Poland concluded an agreement with the Czech Republic on further exploitation, but in this case, the penalty had already risen to 68.5 million euros by that day. Sixty million in European subsidies have already been deducted, and the remaining 8.5 million have yet to be recovered.
In the disciplinary chamber case, Polish President Andrzej Duda proposed a legislative amendment in February that would lead to the dissolution of the controversial body. But according to Reynders, the final approval of the proposal by the Polish parliament is pending a ruling on whether Poland is complying with the ruling of the Court of Justice.
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