The European Union moved Tuesday to force Poland to comply with the rulings of Europe’s top court with plans to seek daily fines against the nationalist government in Warsaw linked to a long-running dispute over justice independence in the country, APA reports citing France 24.
The EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, said that it wants the European Court of Justice to “impose financial penalties on Poland to ensure compliance” with one of the tribunal’s previous legal rulings.
The commission, which supervises the respect of EU laws, said it wants the Luxembourg-based court to impose “a daily penalty” on Poland until it acts to improve the functioning of the Polish Supreme Court and suspends new laws deemed to undermine judicial independence.
A main point of contention is the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court, a body that the ruling party gave the power to discipline judges. Many Polish judges view the chamber as a tool to pressure judges to issue rulings in favor of the ruling authorities.
To date, while the ruling party has filled the ranks of the top courts, there are many lower court judges that act independently and have given rulings that go against the government’s interests.
The EU’s executive body also launched the first step in new legal action against Poland for not complying with a separate ECJ decision that the country’s rules for disciplining judges doesn’t conform with EU law.
Brussels said that if the government in Warsaw doesn’t respond to the “letter of formal notice” satisfactorily that it will take the case back before the court.