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Poland ordered to pay European Commission daily €1 million per penalty


Poland has been ordered to pay the European Commission a daily penalty of €1 million by the European Court of Justice for its failure to comply with interim measures the Court ordered on 14 July 2021, writes Catherine Feore.

In July, Poland was asked to suspend the provisions in national legislation on the jurisdiction of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court in order to avoid: “serious and irreparable harm to the legal order of the European Union and to the values on which that Union is founded, in particular that of the rule of law”. It failed to act, so the Commission was obliged to return to the court to apply a daily fine to encourage Poland to apply the interim measures imposed by the court.

In its judgment of 19 November 2019, the Court of Justice held that EU law precludes cases concerning the application of EU law from falling within the exclusive jurisdiction of a court (Sąd Najwyższy – Izba Pracy i Ubezpieczeń Społecznych) which is neither an independent nor impartial. The court says that it cannot consider the Supreme Court and its Disciplinary Chamber in its creation and composition as a court within the meaning of EU or Polish law.