EC has not asked the CJEU to impose fines on Poland: report

A source in the European Commission (EC) has told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that the Commission, in its motion to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) for interim measures regarding a Polish law on the judiciary, hasn’t asked for the possible imposition of financial sanctions on Poland.

The dispute between Poland and Brussels over the Polish judicial reform started just months after the conservative Law and Justice party came to power following the Polish parliamentary elections in October 2015.

The latest chapter of the saga concerns the new Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court, tasked with internal oversight, which the Commission claims infringes on judicial independence in Poland. The EC directed the issue to the CJEU and later asked it to take interim measures to make sure that Poland freezes the work of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court until the CJEU reaches a verdict on its existence.

The source within the EC told PAP that “the Commission did not ask for financial sanctions, but reserved the possibility of their application in the event that Poland does not comply with the interim measures, if they are imposed”.

The Rzeczpospolita daily reported on February 7th that Poland could face a daily fine of EUR 2 million if it allows the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court to continue to function following a hypothetical decision by the CJEU to apply interim measures against Poland.

The CJEU press service told PAP on February 10th that the court never comments on press reports concerning ongoing proceedings but added that the decision whether to apply interim measures or not hasn’t been made yet. The press service added that Rzeczpospolita’s information did not come from the court.

The Polish government has to provide its position on the functioning of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court by February 13th.