Liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski said that he hoped the European Commission will make more demands before it transfers National Recovery Plan funds to Poland, which means Poland may have to wait even longer to unlock tens of billions in funding for schools, energy, healthcare, and key construction projects.
“The European Commission assures that it presented Law and Justice (PiS) government with terms for transferring funds, I am very glad about this,” said Trzaskowski. The mayor of the Polish capital added that the amendment to the law on the Supreme Court that includes removing of the Disciplinary Chamber did not meet the requirements set by the European Commission and did not fully restore the rule of law.
“We need a guarantee that the entirety of the judiciary system will not be politicized,” stated Trzaskowski. “I spoke to Ursula von der Leyen, and I am optimistic. The European Commission will be setting additional conditions that will need to be met before the money is sent to Poland,” announced Trzaskowski.
On Thursday, the Polish Sejm (parliament) enacted the amendment to the law on the Supreme Court, initiated by President Andrzej Duda, that includes the abolishment of the Disciplinary Chamber. The amendment also includes a procedure of “judge impartiality and independence test” but it will not be applicable to rulings that were issued prior. Now, the law will go to the Senate.
Scrapping of the Disciplinary Chamber is one of the conditions set by the European Commission before it provide funds from the National Recovery Plan to Poland. These vital funds remain locked due to commission’s doubts about the functioning of the Polish judiciary system.
The National Recovery Plan stipulates that Poland is to receive around €58 billion – €23.9 billion in grants and over €34.2 billion in the form of loans from the EU’s Reconstruction Fund. The main themes of the National Recovery Plan are innovativeness, health, economy, transport, and digitalization.