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Poland to ask EC to halt EUR 1 million daily fine

Poland will ask the European Commission to suspend a daily fine of EUR 1 million imposed upon it for failing to wind up the Disciplinary Chamber of the Polish Supreme Court, the country’s minister of EU affairs has said.

The European Commission has moved to collect the seventh tranche of penalties of EUR 30 million, which cover the period from June 28 to July 27 this year.

The fine was imposed for Poland’s failure to comply with a ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union, from the summer of 2021, calling for the suspension of the Disciplinary Chamber, and further provisions of Polish law affecting judicial independence.

The European Commission had asked the court to impose a daily fine of EUR 1 million per day on Poland for as long as the measures imposed by the court’s order were not fully implemented.

But Poland has contested the fine, saying that legislation from May, which was introduced by President Andrzej Duda, abolishing the chamber, meant that they were no longer justified.

“At the moment, we are actually dealing with the first period of assessment by the European Commission after the entry into force of the so-called presidential law,” Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek told a private radio station on Wednesday. “Therefore, in the coming days, perhaps this week, we will submit a request to suspend these penalties.”

He added that Poland had fulfilled its obligation by this law and that “there is no reason to impose these penalties.”

The dispute over the chamber and other changes to the Polish judicial system, which Brussels considers damaging to the rule of law in Poland, has cast a shadow over Poland-EU relations, and led to the freezing of Polish access to a multi-billion euro post-pandemic recovery fund.


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