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    EU Takes Legal Action Against Poland Over Judicial Independence

    The European Commission has continued its crusade against Poland’s attempts at reforming its domestic judicial system, announcing new legal action to be taken against Poland. The EC also threatened Romania, telling the nation to refrain from pardoning corrupt politicians.

    Poland has been at loggerheads with the EU over the matter of judicial independence for years now. The disagreement has culminated in a Letter of Formal Notice being issued to the Polish government, accusing the nation of undermining the “judicial independence of Polish judges by not offering necessary guarantees to protect them from political control”.

     

    Since coming to power in 2015, the Law and Justice government has implemented multiple changes to the nation’s judicial system with a view to creating more effective oversight of how judges are appointed. The changes are designed to allow Poland to remove political and ideological influences from within the judicial system and allow elected governments and representatives to have a say over how much control potentially biased judges can have.

     

    The changes have not been welcomed by the European Union, and the infringement proceedings being put in place are unlikely to go down well with Law and Justice supporters – or in fact, anybody who cares about national autonomy. Many voters know that Law and Justice’s measures are designed to ensure an effective and fair legal system, but the EU has repeatedly and unashamedly attempted to shoot down changes – including a (seemingly) uncontroversial rule that would force Supreme Court judges over the age of 65 to retire.

     

    The EU claims that the move is designed to guarantee ‘rule of law’, but I fail to see how the changes being made by the Polish government affect the equality of every individual under national laws. Instead, I think this is a move by European socialists and communist sympathisers who don’t want politically-motivated and biased judges being forced out of Poland’s Supreme Court.

     

    Moves like this by the EU are not good for Poland-EU relations. I have come to understand (as British Brexiteer) why the Polish consider the European Union a force for good. I understand that many conservatives and even nationalists in Poland consider the EU a safety net, after a century of turbulence. However, for as long as the EU continues to attack Poland for addressing its own domestic issues, Polish people will be further alienated from this union.

     

    In May, the country will go to the polls to elect new MEPs – and with the battle between the European Coalition and Law and Justice, I feel like the EU attacking Poland will simply push more voters to side with Law and Justice.

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