The European Commission deducted further millions of euros from Poland from the funds due to it for not fully complying with the ruling of the CJEU in the case of the Disciplinary Chamber – the RMF FM journalist in Brussels learned. This time we lost EUR 30 million, which means that Poland has already lost EUR 204 million in total, i.e. almost PLN 1 billion. Let us recall that in October 2021, the vice-president of the Court of Justice imposed a daily fine of EUR 1 million on Poland for failure to comply with the CJEU ruling in the case of the Disciplinary Chamber.
The European Commission decided to deduct the funds due to Poland – on August 24 – the RMF FM journalist agreed. It is about the fifth tranche of fines, calculated from November 3 last year.
This time the penalties cover the period from April 26 to May 25. The EC reminds that, apart from the liquidation of the Disciplinary Chamber, the ruling of the CJEU requires, inter alia, suspending the effects of the Chamber’s judgments in cases concerning the waiver of judges’ immunity.
The penalties will continue to apply until the Polish authorities fully comply, or until the final judgment is issued by the CJEU or until it is amended.
Receiving funds does not mean that direct beneficiaries, such as local governments, lose. The deduction concerns the refund requested by the EC from the state budget for invoices already settled with the regions. On the other hand, the state budget, and therefore all taxpayers, are losing. As of today, the penalty meter is EUR 313 million, or PLN 1.4 billion.
On July 14, Poland was obliged to “immediately suspend” the application of national provisions relating to the powers of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court. The decision to apply interim measures was taken by the vice-president of the Court of Justice of the EU, Rosario Silva de Lapuerta.
Polish on the same day The Constitutional Tribunal ruled that that the provision of the EU treaty, based on which the Court of Justice of the EU obliges the Member States to apply interim measures in the case of the judiciary, is inconsistent with the Polish constitution. In the justification of the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal, it was indicated that The EU cannot substitute for the Member States in creating regulations concerning the system of courts and the guarantee of the independence of judges.
The next day – July 15 – The CJEU issued a judgment in a different but related caseby ruling that the system of disciplinary liability of judges in Poland is inconsistent with EU law and that Poland has breached its obligations under EU law.