EC stands by EU Council's decision to approve Poland's recovery plan

The European Commission said on Tuesday it supported the EU council's decision to approve Poland's recovery plan after four associations of European judges asked the EU court to annul it.

"We take note of this legal action against the decision of the Council to approve the Polish recovery and resilience plan," a Commission spokeswoman Veerle Nyuts told reporters in Brussels.

"The Commission stands fully behind its proposal to the Council to approve the plan," she said and added that talks with the Polish authorities about Poland's recovery plan (KPO) are still ongoing.

Four European judicial associations - the Association of European Administrative Judges (AEAJ), the European Association of Judges (EAJ), Rechters voor Rechters and Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés (MEDEL) - challenged the decision to approve Poland's KPO in the General Court of the EU.

"This application seeks the annulment of the Council's decision... on the grounds that the rule of law 'milestones'... fall short of what is required to ensure the effective judicial protection and disregard the judgements of the Court of Justice of the EU on the matter," the associations said, as quoted by Reuters.

Poland's KPO has been approved by the EC and by the Council of the EU, consisting of European economy and finance ministers. However, the tentative approval sets a number of conditions, or milestones, which according to the EC have not all been met and consequently, no money has been transferred to Warsaw yet.

In May, Poland adopted new legislation abolishing a disciplinary chamber for judges at the Polish Supreme Court, which has been at the heart of a dispute between Brussels and Warsaw. The country stands to receive EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 11.5 billion in cheap loans.

Nyuts said that the EC and Poland still need to reach agreement on a number of additional legal documents to achieve the milestones in the Polish KPO. However, she did not specify which documents were meant.

She added that Poland would not be able to submit a preliminary application for disbursement until the documents she mentioned had been signed.