Poland has announced an agreement with the EU in the long-standing dispute over its judicial reforms and the release of European corona aid. The Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller announced on Friday evening that the aid package for Poland with a volume of around 35 billion euros could soon be “formally approved”.
“At the moment we are waiting for the final step of the European Commission.” According to the Polish Ambassador to the EU, Andrzej Selon, the process should be completed by early June.
Brussels had withheld billions in aid in the dispute over Poland’s judicial reforms. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) had fined Poland one million euros a day for Warsaw’s refusal to suspend a Supreme Court disciplinary chamber challenged by the Commission.
The Disciplinary Chamber is at the center of the conflict over the judicial reforms of the national-conservative Polish government that has been going on for years. The chamber can punish and dismiss judges.
Its members are appointed by the State Judicial Council, which is controlled by politicians. Brussels accused Warsaw of undermining the independence of the judiciary with the disciplinary chamber – and thus violating a fundamental value of the European Union.
In a statement on Twitter on Friday, the EU Commission confirmed that Poland must dissolve the disciplinary chamber, reform the disciplinary system and reinstate judges who have been illegally dismissed.
The Polish news agency PAP, citing government information, reported that Poland had agreed to dissolve the disciplinary body in negotiations with the EU and to make “certain changes” to the disciplinary system.
A draft law on the Disciplinary Chamber introduced by Polish President Andrzej Duda is currently being discussed in Parliament and could be passed at the end of May. The disciplinary chamber is to be replaced by a new body called the “Chamber for Professional Responsibility”.