Polish PM says new Supreme Court law needs no more changes

Tytus Żmijewski/PAP

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has said no changes are needed to the new legislation amending the law on the Supreme Court as it includes a compromise worked out in Brussels to open up Poland's access to EU post-pandemic funding.

Last Friday, the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, passed a bill on Supreme Court reform that its authors from the ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) believe will meet conditions set by the European Commission to unlock Poland's access to billions of euros in EU funding, which has been put on hold due to rule-of-law concerns.

The amended legislation proposes that all disciplinary issues concerning judges be settled by the top administrative court instead of the Supreme Court's Chamber of Professional Responsibility, a body created to replace a disciplinary chamber considered by the EC to be politicised.

The bill has been sent to the Senate, the upper house, where the opposition enjoys a slender majority. Opposition parties have said the Senate would reinstate amendments to the bill that were earlier rejected by the Sejm.

On Thursday, Morawiecki was asked at a press conference in Torun, northern Poland, whether PiS would support any amendments to the draft proposed by the opposition.

"We all know that a compromise was worked out in Brussels with the European Commission and... the submitted act contains these requirements, expectations, elements of the compromise," he replied.

"I see no need, having on both sides of the parliament radicals who would like to add or subtract something, to meet their expectations," Morawiecki said.

At the same time, he appealed to Tomasz Grodzki, Senate speaker, to promptly start work on the bill.