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    Supreme Court bill is step towards receiving recovery fund says EU Commissioner

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    EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders has confirmed that a bill amending Poland’s law on its Supreme Court is a step towards the country receiving post-pandemic recovery funding, Poland’s minister for EU affairs announced on Saturday.

    Poland is due to get EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 11.5 billion in cheap loans from the EU’s post-pandemic Recovery and Resilience Facility.

    But the European Commission has blocked Poland’s access to the funding due to a rule-of-law dispute, despite the fact that the Commission has approved Poland’s National Recovery Plan (KPO), which outlines how the government will spend the money.

    In a bid to get access to the funds, MPs of the ruling Law and Justice party have tabled a bill in the Sejm, lower house of parliament, amending the law on the Supreme Court with a view to satisfying one of the rule-of-law “milestones” set by the EC. 

    Didier Reynders wrote on Twitter on Saturday that he had continued talks with Polish EU Affairs Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek aimed at ensuring that “Polish legislation is in compliance with the commitments made under the Recovery and Resilience Plan concerning #judicial independence.”

    “The new draft law on the #judiciary tabled by the Polish government in December 2022… is a promising step forward to achieve compliance with the commitments under the Polish #RRP (KPO – ed.),” the tweet continued.

    “With a view to the Commission’s future preliminary assessment under the #RRP, it will be important that the final law as adopted raises the standards on #judicial protection and judicial independence,” Reynders tweeted.

    Referring to Reynders’ tweet, Szynkowski vel Sek said it was important news as “many had questioned the arrangements with the European Commission.”

    “A representative of the European Commission confirms that the (Supreme Court) bill in the form submitted to the Sejm is a step towards fulfilling the conditions for payment of the KPO,” Szynkowski vel Sek wrote on Twitter.

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