EU Takes Poland to Its Top Court Over Judicial Reform
OREANDA-NEWS The European Commission (EC) decided to submit to the EU Court a complaint against the Polish authorities in connection with the reforms of the judicial system in the country. This is stated in the EC statement issued on Monday in Brussels.
"Today, the European Commission decided to sue the EU court in Poland in connection with the violation of the principle of independence of the judiciary in accordance with the new Polish law on the Supreme court and ask the court to take temporary measures until it makes a decision on the case," - said in a statement.
The EC stresses that "the Polish law on the Supreme court is incompatible with the EU legislation, as it undermines the principle of judicial independence". "The independence of national courts and tribunals is important for the functioning of judicial cooperation between EU member States. Therefore, the European Commission moved to the next stage of the violation procedure, deciding to refer the case to the EU Court", - added the EC.
On August 14, the European Commission launched the second stage of the procedure of elimination of violations to protect the independence of the Supreme court of Poland. The EC believes that the Polish law on the Supreme court does not comply with EU standards, as it violates the principle of independence of the judicial system, including the impossibility of early replacement of judges.
In the so-called reasoned opinion transmitted to Warsaw, the EC notes, inter alia, that the new Polish law has reduced the retirement age for Supreme court judges from 70 to 65 years, which threatens the early dismissal of 27 of the 72 judges, including the Chairman of this body. The EC regards the situation as an attempt to influence the Polish state on the work of the Supreme court.
In the summer of 2018, the EC announced the beginning of the procedure to eliminate violations, the second stage of which was launched in September.
At the same time, the Polish foreign Ministry called "unfounded" claims of the EC. "In accordance with the EU treaties, the organization of the judicial system [in the country] is in the exclusive competence of the member States [of the European Union]," the Ministry said, adding that the decision on the retirement age for judges does not violate EU law.