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No cash to Poland with out rule of legislation, von der Leyen says



EU Fee president Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday (7 June) pledged that no EU restoration funds shall be despatched to Poland earlier than the Warsaw authorities reforms the way it disciplines judges.

The EU fee final week accepted Poland’s restoration plan regardless of criticism that the nationalist Warsaw authorities had not moved on any of the situations set by the EU, nor has it revered earlier European Court docket of Justice (ECJ) rulings on judicial independence.

“[The commission’s] three commitments have to be fulfilled earlier than any fee may be made,” she stated in a debate with MEPs in Strasbourg.

Von der Leyen, who got here beneath criticism from a few of her personal commissioners, defended her govt’s resolution to approve the restoration fund for Poland.

Von der Leyen instructed MEPs that the fee won’t let go of holding Poland accountable over rule-of-law points.

“Agreeing to Poland’s restoration plan doesn’t cease any of the opposite procedures regarding the rule of legislation in Poland,” von der Leyen stated.

“Now we’ve got motion in the best route and leverage,” she added.

Liberal Renew chief MEP Stéphane Séjourné stated within the debate that approving the plan quantities to “a mistake yielding to blackmail on the a part of the Polish authorities”.

The fee and Poland’s Legislation and Justice celebration led authorities have been at loggerheads over the rule of legislation. Poland has been beneath EU scrutiny since 2017 for breaching judicial independence.

Within the restoration plan, the fee has set three so-called “milestones” or situations for Poland to have the ability to unlock the restoration fund, out of which €23.9bn in grants and €11.5 bn in loans is allotted for Warsaw.

The primary is to abolish the disciplinary chamber of judges, which consultants and judges themselves have stated the federal government used to silence essential judges, and arrange an impartial physique consistent with the ECJ ruling from final July.

“It have to be considerably totally different from the present one to reply to the ECJ ruling,” von der Leyen stated.

The second is to reform the disciplinary regime, which the ECJ stated final July breaks the bloc’s guidelines. The fee insists that judges can’t be disciplined as an example for asking the ECJ’s opinion in a case.

The third is to reinstate unlawfully dismissed judges. The fee desires Poland to permit judges who wish to be reinstated to have a primary listening to for evaluation by the brand new disciplinary physique inside three months, and that the method needs to be accomplished in 12 months. All instances must be reviewed by the top of 2023.

The plan nonetheless must be accepted by finance ministers, which is anticipated to occur at their subsequent assembly on 17 June.

No ‘silver bullet’

Fee officers additionally insisted the manager wouldn’t launch any EU cash earlier than the primary two situations are complied with by Warsaw.

“If they aren’t complied with, not a single euro will attain Poland,” a fee official stated.

The official emphasised that the restoration fund just isn’t a “silver bullet” to resolve all rule-of-law points with Poland.

“The restoration and resilience facility is rarely meant to be a rule-o- legislation device,” an EU official stated, including that ” I do not suppose the RRF [recovery fund] could be an additional instrument that may allow us to take care of all these different issues as properly.”

Fee officers additionally stated there was no resolution to ban all funds to Poland.

However, the fee has withheld €111m thus far, as a result of Poland had not paid the one-million euro per day advantageous the ECJ has set for Warsaw in October.

The fee has made 5 requests to Poland for the advantageous to be paid, none of which has led to any fee by the Warsaw authorities.

Poland has initially submitted their plan on the way to use the restoration fund final Might.

However negotiations took a special route in July after the ECJ ruling, when the fee labored out the three situations based mostly on the rulings for Poland to adjust to.

Von der Leyen described the “milestones” as a “security web” to the ECJ rulings.

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