EP mission to Poland will check violation of the rule of law

Members of the European Parliament plan to come to Poland in February to talk about the further worsening rule of law situation in the country.

It will be a joint mission of the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO), co-chaired by MEP Juan Lopez Aguilar (S&D), the LIBE head and a rapporteur of the resolution regarding Poland in the EP, and an AFCO MEP.

Augilar told PAP that the mission "is the continuation of an EP report adopted in September 2020, in which the EP called on member countries to state that there is a clear risk of the violation of the rule of law and European values by Poland."

"This will likely increase Eurosceptic moods in Poland," ruling Law and Justice MEP Bogdan Rzonca said in a comment regarding the planned visit.

Aguilar described the mission "as a sad occasion" to hold talks in Warsaw about "the further worsening of the rule of law and fundamental rights in Poland", while Rzonca said it is "another left-liberal project designed to illegally limit Poland's sovereignty."

In Aguilar's opinion, the unprecedented changes in the Polish judiciary are "alarming" as they have drastically undermined the rule of law and the division of power. He made the statement while referring to the autumn ruling of Poland's Constitutional Tribunal, which questioned the compatibility of the Polish Constitution with the EU Treaties, and Poland's refusal to implement some CJEU rulings.

He said that these moves should be seen as a direct attack against the EU legal foundation and order.

In September 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) imposed a daily fine of EUR 500,000 on Poland for failing to suspend operations at the Turow lignite mine.

In October 2021, the EU's top court imposed a EUR 1 million daily fine on Poland for its failure to comply with the court's ruling to suspend a contested disciplinary chamber for judges at the Supreme Court. The European Commission argued that the Disciplinary Chamber under the Polish Supreme Court, set up in 2017, violated judicial independence in that it could have a "chilling effect" on judges, and thus ran against EU law.