Poland today faces a European Commission (EC) deadline to dissolve its Disciplinary Chamber, a controversial system for reprimanding judges. Last
Poland today faces a European Commission (EC) deadline to dissolve its Disciplinary Chamber, a controversial system for reprimanding judges.
Last month the European Court of Justice ruled that the Disciplinary Chamber is not compatible with EU law. In response to the verdict, the EC demands that Poland disband the Chamber by today or face fines. Although Jaroslaw Kaczynski—deputy prime minister and head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS)—says that the verdict exceeded the Court’s power, he told state media on August 7 that the government intends to dissolve the Chamber today.
PiS and its smaller coalition partner United Poland (ZP) have remained fiercely divided over how to respond to the verdict, with the latter highly opposed to dissolving the Chamber. In the medium-term, the PiS decision to capitulate to EU demands may see the end of Poland’s governing ZP coalition. In the long-term, should the coalition crumble before its term expires in 2023, it is highly likely that the opposition will take power in the country’s lower Sejm chamber, which is currently narrowly controlled by ZP. Opposition control of both chambers of parliament would likely see a Poland more amenable to EU policy.