Polish gov't welcomes EU's top court decision to lower fines
The Polish government welcomes the ruling by the EU's top court that has halved the daily fine imposed on Poland over rule-of-law standards, the government spokesman has said.
In a ruling issued on Friday, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) lowered the fine from EUR 1 million to EUR 500,000 a day.
"We welcome the CJEU decision to reduce the daily rate of penalties that have been in force to date," Piotr Mueller said on Saturday. "Of course, we believe the fines should not be charged at all. Here we differ with the CJEU.
"But we must acknowledge that even the CJEU, which is - mildly speaking - not very sympathetic towards our country, has accepted the arguments we have raised in pleadings to the CJEU and the European Commission (EC)."
The case concerns a dispute between the EC and Poland over the Polish government's changes to the country's court system that, according to Brussels, have forbidden local courts to examine whether the EU rules on court independence and impartiality are being met in tried cases.
In 2021, the EC took Poland to the EU court claiming that the Polish legislative changes had infringed upon EU laws.
The CJEU imposed the original one-million-euro daily fine on Poland in late 2021.
On March 10, 2023, Poland motioned the CJEU to waive or change the decision, arguing that it had since implemented the necessary changes to the law to make it compatible with EU requirements.
The EU court acknowledged the actions undertaken by Poland, including the liquidation of a disciplinary panel for judges, and decided to halve the penalty.