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Poland signals compromise in EU row over disciplining judges
Legal dispute

Poland signals compromise in EU row over disciplining judges

07.08.2021
The country has until 16 August to comply with a ruling by the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice
Leader of Poland's Law & Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, in 2018
Leader of Poland's Law & Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, in 2018
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Poland will revamp its system for disciplining judges in an attempt to end a legal dispute with the European Union, according to the country’s de facto leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

The country has until 16 August to comply with a ruling by the EU’s top court to “immediately suspend” the regime, which critics say is aimed at punishing judges who are critical of the the ruling Law & Justice party. 

The government will in September propose changes to the system to make it more effective, according to Kaczynski, who leads the party.

His remarks are the strongest indication yet that the nationalist government wants to lower the temperature in a half-decade-old conflict with the EU over judicial reforms. It comes weeks after Poland’s top court rejected the EU’s order as unconstitutional, raising concerns that Warsaw will not abide by EU rules and laws.

“We will abolish the Disciplinary Chamber in its current form and in this way the source of the disagreement” with the EU “is going to disappear,” Kaczynski told state-owned PAP newswire on Saturday.

“It’ll be a test of whether the EU is ready to show at least a semblance of good will or it just wants Poland to be ruled only by those handpicked by the EU authorities,” he said.

The escalating legal feud has led to fears that Poland’s access to €23.9 billion of EU stimulus grants could be at risk. Nearby Hungary is already facing a potentially yearlong delay in funding over concerns that changes to its court system don’t do enough to combat graft related to EU money.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.


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