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POLAND: Warsaw may still face CJEU ruling

European Commissioner Wiera Jourova spoke to Czech journalists in regard to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) proceeding against Poland. Jourova said that though recent Supreme Court amendments are seen as a positive sign, the Commission is currently not planning to withdraw the case from the CJEU.

On 21 November the Sejm passed an amendment bill on the Supreme Court, which restores certain provisions to their state prior 3 April 2018 – its draft was submitted to the Sejm by PiS MPs the same day. It was later passed by the Senate on the 23 November and is currently due for the signature of President Duda.  The bill assumes that judges of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court who retired on the basis of the provisions, will be legally restored to the office they held on 3 April 2018 – their service will be considered uninterrupted. Additionally, judges who reach the retirement age of 65, will be able to continue their service if they issue a statement of will.

Commissioner Jourova’s statement is not an official declaration of the European Commission and cannot be interpreted as certain. The Commission is still reviewing the recent changes, however, it will be necessary for the reforms to be fully implemented prior to a comprehensive assessment. The decision whether to withdraw the case from the CJEU will largely depend on Frans Timmermans who  is spearheading the proceedings against Warsaw.