Ahead of the visit by the Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to Warsaw tomorrow, Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament recall that the three conditions to benefit from the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the so-called milestones – dismantling a controversial disciplinary chamber for judges; reforming the disciplinary regime; and reinstating dismissed judges – have not yet been met by the Polish government.
S&D leader Iratxe García Pérez said:
“First of all, I am glad that the Polish government has finally admitted that it must deliver on the three conditions set up by the European Commission last year, and this includes the reform of the judiciary system to restore its independence. However, we are not there yet.
“We need meaningful, and not just cosmetic changes, to fully restore the rule of law in Poland. Any disbursement of the post-Covid recovery money for Poland must not happen until all conditions set by the European Court of Justice are met. Furthermore, changes must not only be meaningful, but also maintained. The Commission must scrupulously verify if there is no reversal or regress before any new instalment of recovery funds is paid.
“I hope this is the message that President von der Leyen will bring to Prime Minister Morawiecki tomorrow: that all EU citizens deserve the same rights, and the Commission cannot accept a lower standard of democracy and rule of law in any member state. Polish citizens deserve no less.
“It is unacceptable that the PiS government keeps Polish people hostage, when it could receive 36 billion euros from the Recovery and Resilience Facility, by continuously dismantling what used to be an independent judiciary. No more time should be wasted. Poland, like other countries, has been hit by the pandemic and Polish people need this stimulus money.”