Today, the ECJ ruled that Poland is in breach of the EU Treaties over its justice reforms. The Polish authorities adopted the reforms in July 2017 aimed at lowering the retirement age of ordinary court judges and introducing new powers for the executive that would influence the workings of the courts. The ECJ came to a similar decision earlier this year concerning Supreme Court judges.
Reacting to the ruling this morning, the co-chair of the European Green Party Reinhard Bütikofer said that “this ruling leaves no doubt that the Polish judicial reforms go against the very basic tenets of democracy of guaranteeing the separation of powers. Any kind of political meddling cannot be tolerated and immediate action must be taken to eradicate it before it becomes entrenched”.
“The Polish authorities must now be in no doubt that these reforms are incompatible with EU values and proceed to abandon them. We urge the incoming Commission to maintain pressure on Poland to change course. This ruling will certainly come as vindication to all those forces who have stood steadfast in defending democracy and the rule of law. We will continue to support Polish citizens who refuse to sit by and see their rights stripped away,” Bütikofer added.