US News Lead 1-EU will inflict fines in Poland for its Justice-SCES Reform
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EU-Poland / Justice (Lead 1, Photo): Lead 1-Eue will inflict fines in Poland for Its Reform of Justice-Sces
(Updated with European Commissioner)
by Gabriela Baczynska
Brussels, 11 January (Reuters) - The European Union will ask Poland in the coming weeks to pay fines totaling about 70 million EUROS As Warsaw refuses to remove a disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court created as part of a reform of justice, has learned Reuters from informed sources.
This is one of the many litigation between Warsaw and Brussels, which accuses the Polish nationalist government to trim democratic standards, including the independence of justice. Warsaw rejects the charges.
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"I regret that the status of the rule of law in Poland shows no sign of improvement and that judges continue to be under pressure," said the European Commissioner for Values and Transparency, Vera Jourova.
"We will continue our duty to defend the rule of law and the independence of justice," she added.
Speaking separately, a spokesman for the European Commission informed that the European Executive had received a last argument of Warsaw on the dispute concerning the disciplinary chamber of judges.
"The EU has ways to ensure that Poland pays the fines due," he said before journalists.
Warsaw had until Tuesday, January 11 to inform Brussels of the calendar and the modalities of the dissolution of the disciplinary chamber of judges, composed of members appointed by the law and justice (EAD) to power.
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The Court of Justice of the EU sentenced last October to Poland to a daily penalty of one million euros per day for not having deleted this Chamber, a decision that Warsaw refuses to recognize, quoting the primacy according to him national law on European law.
If Poland's response did not satisfy the European Executive, it will transmit to Warsaw an invoice to pay within 45 days, "said a source to the European Commission.
The fine will then rise to about 70 million euros, indicated another source in Brussels, adding that the payment request would be sent "very soon" to Poland.
A spokesman for the Polish Government did not respond to a comment request.
Warsaw denounced in the past "illegal" requests and repeats that he would not give the "blackmail" of Brussels ".
(Report Gabriela Baczynska, with the contribution of Joanna Plucinska and Alan Charlish; French version Jean Terzian)
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