EC confirms receipt of Poland's request to suspend court fines

A European Commission (EC) spokesperson confirmed on Friday that the Commission had received a letter from Poland requesting a suspension of fines imposed on Warsaw by the European Court of Justice (CJEU).

The CJEU imposed a fine of EUR 1 million a day on Poland for its failure to comply with its ruling to suspend the operations of the Disciplinary Chamber of the country's Supreme Court, which the EC considers detrimental to the rule of law and judicial independence.

Poland's new European affairs minister, Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek, announced on Friday morning that he had sent a letter to the EC requesting a suspension of the fine, arguing that an amendment to Poland's law on the Supreme Court had resolved the issue.

"We received the letter from the new Polish minister of European affairs asking to discontinue calls for payment," EC spokesperson Christian Wigand told a media briefing on Friday. 

"We received a similar letter already on June 15. Back then, we assessed that while we have seen progress in certain specific issues, not all obligations stemming from the order of July 14, 2021, have been fully addressed in the new law on the Supreme Court. We will of course carefully analyse the second letter to see if there were any new developments."

He added that the "Commission is under the obligation to continue its calls for penalty payments ordered by the Court of Justice until Poland fully complies with the order of the court." 

"Until this is done, Poland will continue to pay the fines imposed by the court," Wigand said.

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