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EU-Poland legal row: Commission vows 'swift' response to Warsaw

 
Brussels, Jan 12 (IANS) The European Commission will "swiftly" react to Poland's reply to the letter of a formal notice it sent to Warsaw in December 2020, Commission spokesman Christian Wigand said.

In its letter dated December 22, the European Union's executive arm had called on the Polish government to comply with the European Court of Justice's July 2021 and October 2021 rulings and liquidate the controversial Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court and reinstate dismissed judges. Poland had, until Monday midnight, to reply to the letter.

The Disciplinary Chamber has the power to discipline judges. Some Polish judges consider it a tool to pressure judges to rule in favor of the governing authorities, Xinhua news agency reported.

In July last year, the ECJ ordered the suspension of the chamber as an interim measure pending a final decision on the matter. However, this was ignored by Warsaw, so the Commission sent another letter, notifying it of the ECJ's decision that imposed a one-million-euro ($1.14 million) daily fine until it complies with the July ruling.

Should the Polish authorities' reply prove unsatisfactory, the Commission will proceed to send the first request for payment, Wigand said.

The fines imposed by the ECJ are collected by the Commission and integrated into the EU budget, according to Wigand. He warned that, if necessary, the Commission will simply deduct the money from the EU funds that flow to Poland.

--IANS
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