European Union Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said on Friday that he is concerned over the independence of the judiciary in Poland, which is an important principle when analyzing the rule of law.
“Threats to the rule of law undermine the EU core,” Reynders said during a press conference at the end of a two-day visit to Poland. The country’s judicial reforms since 2015 have had a negative impact on the rule of law, he said.
Poland and the European Union are at odds about changes that Warsaw has been implementing to its judiciary since 2015. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ) ruled in July that a disciplinary chamber for judges is against EU law and must be suspended. The Luxemburg-based court imposed a fine of 1 million euros (1.13 million U.S. dollars) per day on Poland.
Reynders said that the only thing being asked of Poland to defuse tensions was to abide by the latest CJEU rulings, and roll back the reform steps that have been ruled illegal.
However, Poland’s Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro and Supreme Court President Malgorzata Manowska, both of whom met Reynders during his visit, criticized Reynders’ position.
“There is no rule of law without equal treatment,” said Ziobro during the same press conference, indicating Poland was being unfairly treated by the EU.
Manowska handed Reynders a written commentary on Friday, claiming the European Commission has been biased against Poland in its assessments. (1 euro=1.13 U.S. dollars)