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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Poland – European Commission. How much fines did Poland pay? Minister Szymon Szynkowski aka Sęk on the details

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The European Commission has deducted over EUR 369.2 million from Poland in fines for failing to implement the interim measures of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), informed the Minister for European Union Affairs, Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk. This is the equivalent of over PLN 1.7 billion.

Hanna Gill-Piątek, until recently associated with Poland 2050, addressed an interpellation to the Minister for European Union Affairs regarding the penalties that Poland paid to the European Commission. Court of Justice of the European Union obligated Poland to pay penalties to the European Commission for failing to implement the provisions of the CJEU. Due to these penalties, Poland loses huge amounts of money that could be used for other and certainly more necessary purposes.

Gill-Friday asked how much money she had deducted for non-payment of fines European Commission in 2022 from EU funds due to Poland.

The dispute over the Turów mine

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The Minister for European Union Affairs Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk informed – firstly – about the deduction of money as a result of a dispute with the Czech Republic about the Turów mine.

“By virtue of the decision of the Vice-President of the Court of Justice of the EU of September 20, 2021 (The czech republic/Polska, C-121/21 R, EU:C:2021:752) The Republic of Poland was obliged to pay the European Commission a periodic penalty payment in the amount of EUR 500,000 per day, starting from the date of delivery of this order to the Republic of Poland until compliance with the content of the order of the Vice-President of the Tribunal of 21 May 2021 (Czech Republic/Poland, C-121/21 R, EU:C:2021:420), pursuant to which the Republic of Poland was obliged to immediately stop mining lignite in the Turów Mine” – reminded the minister in response to an interpellation.

Szynkowski vel Sęk reported that “the amount due to be paid by the Republic of Poland for the daily fines awarded in the decision of September 20, 2021 concerned the period from September 20, 2021 to February 3, 2022 (137 days) and amounted to EUR 68,500,000.

Poland did not pay the amounts due to the EC, but – as the Minister for EU Affairs informed – the European Commission “deducted from the receivables of the Republic of Poland towards the European Union for reimbursement of expenditure from EU funds the unpaid debt with interest in the total amount of EUR 68,591,910.95”.

Turow MineDarSzach/Shutterstock

Szynkowski vel Sęk reminded that on February 4, 2022, “as a consequence of the settlement concluded between the governments of the Republic of Poland and the Czech Republic and the waiver of all claims by both parties, the President of the Court of Justice of the EU decided to remove case C-121/21 from the register of the Court”.

Penalties for the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court

The second case concerns the failure to implement interim measures of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on disciplinary procedures in the Polish judiciary.

In the summer of 2021, the CJEU obliged Poland to immediately suspend the application of the provisions relating to the powers of the unrecognized Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court in matters such as waiving judicial immunity. For failure to comply with this provision, Poland was fined one million euros a day.

“The amount due to be paid by the Republic of Poland for the daily fines awarded in the decision of October 27, 2021, concerns the period from November 3, 2021. Until the end of 2022 (424 days), this amount was EUR 424,000,000” – said the Minister for European Affairs.

As Szynkowski vel Sęk added, “by the end of 2022, the Commission deducted from the receivables of the Republic of Poland against the European Union for reimbursement of expenditure from EU funds the unpaid debt with interest in the total amount of EUR 300,688,397.26”.

The Minister informed that the sum of the amounts to be paid by Poland in respect of daily fines amounted to EUR 492.5 million at the end of 2022. “The Commission deducted the amount of EUR 369,280,308.21,” he said.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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