Kaczyński at a rally in Płock, suddenly asked about the ‘milestones’ in the National Recovery Plan. ‘No more of this good stuff!’

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Everything you need to know about the rule of law in Poland

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‘We have really demonstrated maximum goodwill. From the point of view of the treaties, we are under no obligation to listen to the Union on the justice system. None whatsoever,’ said Jarosław Kaczyński, when asked about the ‘milestones’ in the National Recovery Plan during a successive pre-election meeting.



by Magdalena Bojanowska

 

A question was asked during Jarosław Kaczyński’s meeting with the residents of Plock on Friday about ‘what’s next with the new ‘milestones’ [in the National Recovery Plan – ed.] thought up by the European Union’. ‘I actually hear all these statements that something is not liked again. I am voicing my own opinion at the moment, because there is no party decision, but this opinion is brief: no more of this good stuff!’ said the chairman of the Law and Justice (PiS) party.

 

‘We have really demonstrated maximum goodwill. From the point of view of the treaties, we are under no obligation to listen to the Union on the justice system. None whatsoever,’ emphasised the politician.

 

European Parliament: Poland is still breaching the rule of law

At the beginning of June, the European Commission gave the green light to Poland’s National Recovery Plan. However, ‘these three commitments, which have been turned into “milestones”, must be fulfilled before any payments can be made,’ emphasised Ursula von der Leyen. These are the liquidation of the Disciplinary Chamber, the reinstatement of the judges suspended by it and the reform of the system for disciplining judges.

 

It should be reiterated that, in order for money to flow from the EU, each country has to meet certain criteria. In the case of the first tranche for Poland, these are changes in the judiciary. The Commission estimates that, if the conditions are met, our country could start to receive money before the end of the year.

 

The EC’s decision sparked opposition from some MEPs in the European Parliament. In mid-June, the parliament decided that Poland was still breaching European law on the rule of law. According to the EP, the solutions accepted by the European Commission – including the presidential bill on the Supreme Court, which provides for the liquidation of the Disciplinary Chamber – are insufficient. The PiS government was also acknowledged as taking steps that are in conflict with the European Commission’s conditions. The European Parliament requested the EC to withhold payments to the National Recovery Plan until appropriate reforms are conducted in Poland.

 

Last Wednesday, the European Commission published a report on the rule of law, in which it presented guidelines for the EU Member States. In the document regarding Poland, it recommended separating the functions of minister of justice and prosecutor general. According to the EC, our country should also ‘ensure that the prosecution service is functionally independent of the government’. It also emphasised that ‘grave concerns about the independence of the National Council of the Judiciary have not been resolved’.

 

 

The article was published in Gazeta Wyborcza,



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Everything you need to know about the rule of law in Poland


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July 18, 2022

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