Marine Le Pen before a meeting with nationalist leaders in Warsaw, Poland
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The sum would be taken from the E funds allocated to Poland, depending on the amount to be paid each month. This is the first time in the history of the EU that a Member State would be deprived of funds for non-compliance with ECJ rulings.
In the coming weeks, the Commission is expected to deduct a monthly fine of €15million from Poland’s budgetary allocations.
This follows Warsaw’s refusal to pay a daily penalty of €500,000 for keeping the Turow coal-fired power plant open.
The ECJ had ordered Poland to stop mining activities at the mine in a lawsuit brought by the neighbouring Czech Republic.
Warsaw refused to comply, citing the need to ensure its energy security.
This week, the European Commission will also send Warsaw the first formal request to pay a €1million daily fine imposed by the ECJ in another case: that of the reform of the Polish judiciary, which the court says undermines EU values.
Last October, the court condemned Warsaw for failing to comply with a ruling declaring the new disciplinary chamber for judges “incompatible” with EU law.
The case had been brought by the European Commission.
The Court ruled in favour of the Commission, stating that the reorganisation of the judiciary could be “used to exercise political control over judicial decisions or to put pressure on judges with a view to influencing their decisions.
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The move was slammed by National Rally MEP Dominique Bilde, who said: “The EU knows only one method: racketeering!”
Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister of the ruling PiS (Law and Justice) party, said in August that his government was ready to dissolve the controversial institution, without actually doing so. He accused the EU of “creeping in” on Polish affairs and lamented in an interview with the Financial Times that the EU was putting “a gun to his head”.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous, but the government doesn’t seem to realise it,” says Green Party MP Daniel Freund. “Schools, hospitals, nursing homes will lose money because the government will not be able to invest in new projects without EU funding,” he told Euronews.
To make things worse, on Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron unleashed an attack on Poland and other countries, such as Hungary, over their failure to comply with the bloc’s rule of law principles.
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Reacting to the French leader’s attack in the European Parliament, the chambers’ Identity and Democracy Group said Mr Macron’s pitch for France’s presidency of the EU Council is not in the EU’s best interest.
They warned: “Attacks on Hungary and Poland, enlargement to the Balkans and unbridled federalism: the axes of the EUFP presented by Emmanuel Macron are not in the interest of the European people!”
In a video posted on Twitter, they added: “On Wednesday 19 January, Emmanuel Macron went to Strasbourg to present the guidelines of the French presidency of the EU Council to the European Parliament.
“The French president violently attacked Poland and Hungary, accused of not respecting the rule of law when their only fault is to refuse the Brussels diktats and the migration flood.
“Emmanuel Macron also called for the enlargement of the EU to the Balkan countries, such as Northern Macedonia and Albania, which are subject to serious economic difficulties and endemic corruption.
“Finally, he delivered his federalist vision of the EU, thus denying the identity and sovereignty of the European peoples.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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