Lower house scraps all Senate amendments to Supreme Court bill
The Sejm, the lower house of Poland's parliament, has rejected all of the amendments introduced by the Senate to a Supreme Court bill, a regulation prepared in order to increase Poland's chances of getting its long-awaited EU post-pandemic recovery funds.
All 14 amendments introduced by the upper house were scrapped on Wednesday in a 233-to-207 vote, with 12 abstentions.
The bill was passed by the lower house on January 13 in a bid to meet one of the key conditions set by the European Commission, called "milestones" in European terminology.
The EU's objections largely concern Poland's justice system, especially a disciplinary chamber for judges in the Polish Supreme Court, which the European Commission regards as an illegal restriction on judicial independence.
The new legislation could remove some of the EU's misgivings by moving all disciplinary and immunity cases of judges to the Supreme Administrative Court.
Poland is due to receive EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 11.5 billion in inexpensive loans from the EU's post-pandemic Recovery and Resilience Facility, a fund that most EU members are already spending money from.
The bill must now be approved by the president before it becomes law.