Removal of supreme court disciplinary chamber incompliant with demands, EC says

New legislation abolishing a disciplinary chamber for judges at the Polish Supreme Court, which has been at the heart of a dispute between Brussels and Warsaw, fails to rescind changes to the Polish judicial system that have been questioned by the Commission, Christian Wigand, the Commission’s spokesman, has said.

Wigand on Thursday highlighted the failure of the legislation to remove clauses forbidding judges from questioning the independence and legal appointment of other judges

Wigand said the Commission had informed Poland about its position.

Changes in the Polish government's judicial reforms are among the "milestones", or conditions, Poland has to fulfill to receive EU funding for its post-pandemic National Recovery Plan.

According to the EC changes to the judicial system by the Polish government, which included the establishment of the Disciplinary Chamber, do not guarantee the full independence of Polish courts.

Earlier on Thursday EC Vice-President Vera Jourova said in the European Parliament that the Polish legislation that closes down the disciplinary chamber failed to meet the conditions, or milestones in EU terminology, necessary to receive EU funding.

Jourova said Poland would have to reflect on these conditions and if there is no sufficient response in the legally binding provisions regarding the Polish judicial system that match the milestones, the EU will not pay the money.

Responding to Jourova's words later on Thursday, Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a press conference that "if somebody was looking for problems they would always find something that may not fit", adding that "we need to de-dramatise the situation, we need unity and solidarity."