Polish law ‘weakening basis of EU legal order’

Sallie Anderson

The European Commission has actually opened a 4th legal case in its quote to stop Poland from crashing out of the EU’s legal order.

A brand-new Polish law, which participated in force on 14 February, “undermines the independence of Polish judges,” EU worths commissioner Věra Jourová stated in Brussels on Wednesday (29 April).

” The [new] disciplinary program can be utilized as a system of political control of the material of judicial choices”, she stated.

The law suggested Polish judges might now be disciplined by the judgment Law and Justice (PiS) party for a host of brand-new factors.

If Polish judges ended up being PiS marionettes that damaged “mutual trust” in between member states’ judiciaries, a “foundation” of the EU, Jourová kept in mind.

However the Polish Valentine’s Day law went even more, likewise providing PiS the power to obstruct Polish judges from referring cases to the EU courts in Luxembourg and from using European legislation in Poland.

Which “undermined the very basis of the EU legal order” Jourová stated.

It was “incompatible with the primacy of EU law” in member states, a foundation of the EU treaties, the EU commission likewise stated in a declaration.

The commission released an “infringement procedure” versus Poland the very same day, which might lead to fines and EU court injunctions.

It was the 4th of its kind considering that PiS first locked horns with Brussels over judicial reform in2016


The commission has actually likewise set off an EU sanctions treatment which might end in Poland losing ballot rights in the EU Council and threatened to cut funds in the next EU budget if PiS did not pull back.

However the nationalist-populist juggernaut of party chairman Jarosław Kaczyński has actually continued rolling forward anyhow.

And his ruling party has actually likewise chosen battles with the EU centre on migration, environment, unlawful logging, and over its usage of reactionary hate speech.

Poland, a nation of 38 m people who toppled communist guideline, was the gem in the crown of Europe’s post- Cold War reunification in2004


However Jourová’s remarks on Poland splitting far from “the very basis of the EU legal order” was simply the most recent warning that PiS judicial reforms were pressing its really EU membership into limbo.

Kaczyński’s republic was going through “irreversible changes that will de facto exclude Poland from the circle of European legal culture and western democracy,” a group of European academics likewise stated in a joint letter to Jourová on Wednesday.

“If you question not just EU values, but also fundamental EU institutions and EU law, then it means you don’t want to be part of this Europe,” Igor Tuleya, a PiS-critical Polish judge, just recently informed EUobserver.

” If you penalize Polish judges for decisions that use EU law, then it’s a legal Polexit [Polish-exit],” Tuleya, who runs the risk of 3 years in jail in a case occurring from the PiS reforms, stated.

“Poland is going back to the 1980s, when we were closed off from the world,” he added.

Pandemic election

On the other hand, the nation that toppled communism is likewise preparing to vote in a questionable governmental election on 10 May.

The vote will likely see the incumbent, PiS-loyalist Andrzej Duda, maintain office, in part since nobody else has actually had the ability to campaign due to Poland’s pandemic lockdown.

The vote will happen by post just, under 11 th-hour PiS plans.

And it will be “unfair and not free”, according to the 30- or-so legal scholars from around Europe who composed to Jourová.

However it will happen under the EU commission’s spotlight, she stated on Wednesday, while voicing “serious concern” that pandemic emergency situation laws might be utilized to breach EU treaty standards in Europe.

“If I was a Polish citizen, I would have many questions,” she stated.

“I would like fair access to vote and I would like to have seen all the candidates campaigning,” sheadded


“The virus must not kill democracy,” Jourová stated, referring likewise to Hungary, which just recently presented drastic pandemic powers.

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