Supreme Court changes bound to release EU recovery funds - Polish official

Poland should still be able to secure EU pandemic recovery funding despite the lower house of parliament passing a bill scrapping a disciplinary chamber for judges without amendments recommended by the Senate, a deputy interior minister has said.

On June 1, the European Commission approved the national post-pandemic recovery plan (KPO) and stands to receive EUR 35.4 billion from the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

However, the release of the money has been conditioned on the dissolution of the disciplinary panel and reforming the disciplinary procedure for judges.

In vote on Thursday, Poland's Sejm, the lower house of parliament, rejected 23 out of 29 amendments to the bill on the Supreme Court, introduced by the upper house.

The amendments included the annulment of rulings issued by the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court before it is liquidated.

Another crucial provision rejected by the lower house was the requirement of at least seven years of adjudication in the Supreme Court for the 33 candidates randomly selected to a new body at the Supreme Court called the Chamber of Professional Responsibility, of whom 11 would be appointed by the president.

But Pawel Szefernaker, a deputy interior minister, said on Friday that KPO funds should still be released despite the rejections.

"This bill was previously adopted by the Sejm, now the Sejm has confirmed the adoption of this law in the form in which it was adopted earlier, without Senate amendments," Szefernaker said.

"I am convinced that this will also allow for the efficient implementation of the KPO," he added.