New draft law on judiciary an important step for EU funds - EC spokesman

The European Commission (EC) spokesman has told PAP that the act adopted by the Sejm (lower house of the Polish parliament) on Friday is an important step towards meeting the milestones needed to access EU funds.

Christian Wigand has told PAP that the new draft law on the judiciary submitted by the Polish government in December 2022, and adopted by the Sejm, is an important step towards fulfilling the obligations set out for Poland's KPO.

"We will continue to follow closely the next steps of the ongoing adoption process and then review the final law adopted,” he said.

Poland is due to receive EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 11.5 billion in cheap loans from the EU's post-pandemic Recovery and Resilience Facility.

But the EC has denied Poland access to the money until it reverses, amends or withdraws changes to the judiciary that Brussels feels threaten the rule of law.

Wigand added that the EC is in contact with the Polish authorities to ensure that Polish legislation is fully in line with the commitments made under the KPO on judicial independence.

"It will be important that the adopted final law raises standards of judicial protection and judicial independence," Wigand said.