In an opinion released on Thursday, the European Court of Justice’s advocate general, Evgeni Tanchev, stated that “the ECJ should rule that the Polish legislation concerning the disciplinary regime for judges is contrary to EU law.”
Tanchev — who previously had a successful legal career as a lawyer under communism in Bulgaria but has since become an official in Europe’s top court — declared that state laws which entail that Polish judges may be faced with disciplinary actions due to filing preliminary rulings were unacceptable.
The ECJ still has to rule on the case and won’t necessarily follow Tanchev’s view.
Polish Deputy Minister of Justice Sebastian Kaleta strongly responded to Tanchev’s opinion and emphasized the double standards being used by the European Union.
“Two weeks following the ECJ’s statement that in Malta and Germany judges can be chosen by politicians, the advocate general claims that in Poland they cannot be chosen by the National Council of the Judiciary like in Spain. The EU has no competencies here, but is using double standards,” he wrote on social media.
2 tygodnie po orzeczeniu TSUE, że na Malcie i w Niemczech sędziowie mogą być powoływani przez polityków, rzecznik generalny stwierdza, że w Polsce nie mogą być powoływani przez KRS jak w Hiszpanii (czyli wiodącą rolą sędziów).
UE nie ma tu kompetencji, a daje podwójne standardy
— Sebastian Kaleta (@sjkaleta) May 6, 2021
Kaleta added that Tanchev believes that judges in Poland may face disciplinary action for any rulings that they make, which he says is a total lie.
“These lies are meant to help in blocking the judiciary reform through the newly implemented mechanism of financial blackmail,” he stated.
Kaleta pointed out that it would be important to understand who is behind orchestrating this attack on Poland: Maciej Szpunar, a former long-term minister in the Civic Platform (PO) government.
“For five years he was a deputy minister in Donald Tusk’s government. Afterwards, he was moved directly from the government to the position of advocate general of the ECJ. He currently is its first advocate,” the deputy minister of justice informed.
He underlined that this was important as particular advocates for certain issues are chosen by the first advocate of the court. Therefore, in all matters which are currently being discussed, Szpunar is choosing advocates.
Szpunar chose Tanchev as the author of the opinion on Poland. Meanwhile, Kaleta explains that Tanchev had made a successful career in law during the communist era in Bulgaria and is further developing this career with the help of post-communist parties.
Kaleta noted that the judiciary reform in Poland aims to separate the Polish judiciary from communist elites and dependencies.