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KPO, EU funds for Poland. Didier Reynders: before the money flows, Poland will have to show that the reforms have been implemented

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The European Commission believes that serious concerns about the independence of the National Council of the Judiciary have not been dispelled, wrote EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders. He also reminded that in order to pay Poland money from the KPO, “it is necessary that the new provisions on the Supreme Court comply with EU law.”

The Association of Polish Judges Iustitia published on Tuesday a response to a letter from the heads of judges’ associations regarding “concerns about the further functioning of the Polish National Council of the Judiciary” and “laws recently adopted by the Polish parliament in connection with the commitments made under the Recovery and Resilience Plan (KPO). “. They were answered – on behalf of the head of the European Commission – by Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders.

“There is no doubt that the EU must protect the rule of law if it is to stand up for justice and the EU’s fundamental values. President von der Leyen has stressed many times, including before the European Parliament, that the rule of law is the foundation of our Union. It is essential to protect all other the values ​​on which the Union is founded: freedom, democracy, equality and respect human rights‘ wrote Reynders.

In the case of the KRS, he said, “the Commission believes that serious concerns about its independence have not been dispelled.” “The Commission continues to closely monitor developments regarding the role of the National Council of the Judiciary and judicial review of its decisions,” he assured.

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For payment from KPO “it is necessary that the new regulations comply with EU law”

Reynders wrote that the EC assessed the Polish NIP “in terms of all the criteria set out in the Regulation on the Instrument for Economic Recovery and Resilience”. “According to the Regulation, each plan must contribute to effectively addressing all or a significant subset of the challenges identified in the relevant country-specific recommendations, and the Commission must be satisfied that a robust management and control system is in place at national level to protect the Union’s financial interests,” he underlined. .

In the case of Poland, we read, “the independence of the judiciary is a challenge that has been identified in the above recommendations.” “Therefore, taking into account these assessment criteria, the Commission and Poland have agreed to add to the Judicial Reform Plan, which will be implemented and verified. Poland will have to demonstrate that the reforms have been implemented before any disbursement under the KPO can be made” – he stated commissioner.

He specified that “the implementation of individual stages will be assessed on the basis of the legal provisions in force in Poland at the time of the country’s first application for payment of funds.” “It is imperative that the new regulations comply with EU law,” he reminded.

Reynders assured that “The Commission will continue to closely follow developments in Poland (…) and remains very committed to upholding EU law and values ​​in the interest of Polish citizens and other European Union countries“.

Main photo source: JULIEN WARNAND/EPA/PAP

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