From President Andrzej Duda’s point of view, the case has been finalized and closed. There will be no new projects, the head of the president’s cabinet, Paweł Szrot, said on Tuesday when asked about the Supreme Court law under KPO funds.
The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, told Dziennik Gazeta Prawna last week that in order to receive money from the National Reconstruction Plan, Poland must comply with commitments made to reform the system of disciplinary measures against judges. She admitted that the new law — the amendment to the Supreme Court Act — is an important step but does not give judges the ability to challenge the status of another judge without risking liability for disciplinary action. Von der Leyen stressed that Poland must also fully comply with the decision of the Court of Justice of the EU, which has not yet happened – the suspended judges have not been reinstated.
Szrot was asked on TVP1, “why was it the whole show with Ursula von der Leyen, when it turns out some new milestones are needed now”. “I would rather call an action what is happening now on the part of the European Union institutions. These are not edifying facts,” he replied.
He added that the president had already announced that “he has effectively ceased his activities on the law”, which “has been passed and submitted to the institutions of the European Union”. “To a certain extent, the solutions in this law have been very well received. Why has this changed now? Good question” – said the head of the presidential cabinet. “This confirms that politics is the art of compromise, and if some people don’t understand what compromise is, that it consists of concessions on both sides, then it’s only good to wring your hands over it” – he added up.
Szrot, when asked if Andrzej Duda would undertake any more activity on the subject, replied that “the president believes that this money should be allocated to Poland”.
“From the president’s point of view, the case is finished and closed. There will be no new projects,” said Szrot.
On July 15, the amendment to the Supreme Court Act, passed at the initiative of the president, went into effect, causing the Disciplinary Chamber to cease to exist and to be replaced by the Chamber of Appeals Responsibility. The president – who sent the bill to the Sejm in February this year – emphasized that the aim was to restore the functioning of the justice system in our country and “give the government an instrument” to end the dispute with the European Commission. and the blockade of the National Reconstruction Plan. Changes to the Supreme Court were expected by the European Commission in connection with the decision of the Court of Justice of the EU in July last year – the CJEU obliged Poland to apply the provisions regarding the powers of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court in cases such as: lifting the immunity of judges; at the end of October last year The CJEU announced that Poland was obliged to pay the EC a fine of 1 million euros per day for non-compliance with its decisions. EC incl. it made the approval of the National Reconstruction Plan and the payment of money from the Reconstruction Fund to Poland dependent on the changes in the disciplinary system of judges.
At the beginning of June, the European Commission approved the Polish National Reconstruction Plan. This is a step towards the EU’s disbursement of €23.9 billion in grants and €11.5 billion in loans under the Reconstruction Fund. The EC noted, among other things, that the Polish KPA “contains milestones related to important aspects of the independence of the judiciary that are of particular importance for improving the investment climate and creating the conditions for successful implementation” and that ” Poland must demonstrate that these milestones have been achieved before any disbursement under the Reconstruction Fund is made”. On June 17, EU Member States approved the Polish KPO; the decision was taken at the meeting of EU finance ministers in Luxembourg.