Poland's judicial reforms put EU membership at risk, warns top court


Poland's Supreme Court says the judicial reforms proposed by the country's right wing. Government are in violation of EU rules. And and could mean that oiseaux would be forced to leave the block well on the line from also Christian Davies. WHO's a journalist in Poland Chris? Thanks for for joining us. What are the proposed reforms that the government wants to push through what I think the important background? This is earlier. This in in the altern and the European Court of Justice issued a ruling saying that a body had been taken over by the Polish government am and had his loyalist Putin which which appoints punish judges had to be assessed by The Polish sue prem- cool to it helps to decide whether the judges in the the members of that body were appointed properly or not and and The Supreme Court of Potent then ruled that these People appointing judges would not am We're not legally appointed and what the government is now. Doing is responding by saying that police judges are not allowed allowed to declare other Polish judges illegally. Appoint judges as having as not being properly appointed and so the government is essentially doing is telling Polish judges that they're not allowed to criticize the illegal appointments of government loyalists am which is a escalation of the battle is being going on for several years The second point is at which is what the head of the Supreme Court was really referring to when she said that pardons that place in the EU is under threat was In order to preempt the fact that the European justice has been issuing rulings against will the pump has been doing with its own judiciary The Polish government wants to make it illegal for police. Judges to apply European law directly. They must instead Referred the question to the constitutional tribunal which is itself controlled by government lawyers. So what they're trying to do to shut down any avenues of not just descent but all the other court's ruling lead doing as legal so there's no actual mechanism for expelling an e you member so if the ruling Lauren Justice is this party doesn't back down on this. What happens next well at oversee it would be completely unprecedented? I think am him. What the head of the Polish cold is saying She's not saying it would be immediate. It would be instant that potent will be thrown out. She's he's actually just pointing out something which has been the case for a long time. which is The changes in the Polish judiciary giving the ruling party direct control. All of opposed judges are simply incompatible with the requirements of European law of European membership am at that is is already the case it would be even more stock if this legislation to go through and the comes a point when you can't Violate the basic conditions of of membership forever. So she simply saying that and the situation. The long-term is untenable which I think is correct and but no one has really got round around two to thinking what the consequence might be. Everyone I think both in Poland and in Brussels a hoping this will this issue would just go away. But it hasn't and I don't think it will I mean is the government likely to back down. Well people have been hoping especially I think in the European Commission and the that member states at every stage at the government will back down but actually this process started in the in around December. Twenty fifteen. So it's been going for four years and people have been talking about whether the Polish government might back down and for four years and they haven't so am I don't see why they would but now I mean one possible course of action for the e us to to not allow parents have voting rights. Well the mechanism the M depriving voting rights requires unanimity in the European Council which they weren't get and the the commission and the member states it's sort of went halfway up this path during the last commission and then realized they didn't have the political support to complete as they found themselves stranded so the next sort of way of doing it could be to restrict a funding through the next budget process but of course post war Poland has done quite cynically but quite cleverly is to a hold up the budget process on climate change. So am a potent knows that it's it may get less money over the over the judicial issue. And so what they're trying to do is demand more money on the climate issue needed to compensate for. It said what they're doing. The thing is dragging in all these other issues in order to make it extremely complicated and to make any effective action much much more difficult. I mean an the U. member since two thousand and four and it is a major beneficiary of e you funds. How does the majority of citizens Polish citizens feel about membership? Well if you am. Nearly every bit of survey data polling data suggests at very high support plus for leaving in in many surveys the highest level of support you membership in the of any member of the EU. The problem is not so much that people in principle The support meme should the the. It's the the Polish people have now twice elected a government which does not share at basic liberal democratic mctighe values which underpin the European Union so at which is why these Control see why these fights keep keep coming up so so even if one hundred percent of Poles wanted to stay member of the EU you can only violates the fundamental European values and laws for so long and that's what the the head of the Supreme Court was trying to say. Do you think finally we could see some kind of brexit contagion. I mean his Poland lightly to leave leave voluntarily. I don't think so simply because there's no public appetite title for it and a lot of Polish as people at whatever. The views on the judiciary don't really believe that there's any imminent threat opponent leaving the European and I think that's correct. I don't think the threat is imminent because it would be such a catastrophe and in many ways worse Problem for the EU than in Britain leaving. And but I I can't see any resolution to this quickly and it's it's been going on for many many years and it may be that supported. The government may start to reach this conclusion that they can't actually implement that program. They want which is actually a restoration of a form of authoritarianism opponent as long as you members visit and that is true at whether they drool the natural conclusion and start to advocate. Leaving Is another question but for now they Rather trying to do is simply to comment discontent discontent with the EU but not necessarily to support departure but that's a very dangerous game to play Christian. Thank you very much. Indeed that's Christian Davies. Speaking to us from

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