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EU welcomed Poland’s judicial reform plan

EU welcomed Poland’s roadmap to restore the rule of law as the country’s new government seeks to unlock nearly 60 billion euros in post-pandemic aid.

Poland presented the plan to EU ministers in Brussels on Tuesday, which includes various judicial reforms in an attempt to persuade the bloc to end disciplinary proceedings over breaches of democratic standards linked to the previous administration. European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova told reporters:

“I believe this is a realistic plan which should restore the independence of the judiciary. There is much work to be done.”

Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s coalition, which came to power after elections last October, has promised to mend relations with Brussels by restoring judicial independence. Judicial reforms are at the heart of a conflict between Brussels and Warsaw that lasted eight years under the previous government.

In 2021, the EU imposed a record fine of 1 million euros a day on the eastern European country for failing to dismantle a controversial regime for disciplining judges, which critics saw as a way to oust those who did not support the then-ruling populist Law and Justice party. Poland’s highest court ruled that some EU laws were incompatible with the country’s constitution.

The fine was reduced to 500,000 euros a day last April after the government introduced some reforms.

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