The Polish government is threatening not to pay its EU contribution in retaliation for the lack of €36 billion in European corona support. The country accuses the European Commission of acting in bad faith.
Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced last month that she would not pay Poland the corona aid because of the country’s disciplinary system for judges.
Poland introduced new oversight rules for judges, who can now be suspended, transferred or otherwise punished by a disciplinary committee led by the government. Von der Leyen made it clear that the corona support would only be paid if Poland dropped the disciplinary system.
Polish Deputy Justice Minister Sebastian Kaleta says the government does not have the power to reappoint suspended judges. “In every country, judges are judges, and politicians are politicians. I see no reason to change that system because the European Commission is extorting us,” he says.
“If the situation escalates and Poland does not receive support, we will look at ways to compensate for our loss,” Kaleta said. “The option of not paying our membership fees is already being discussed.”
In response to the Polish threat, the EU has announced that it will not pay normal payments from the European budget to Poland, which are independent of the corona support if Poland does not pay its membership fees. This is because Poland receives more money from the EU than it pays to the Union.