On Wednesday, the European Union’s Court of Justice ruled that Poland would have to pay a €1 million fine every day because of controversial judicial reforms the EU says are illegal.
This financial penalty is believed to be the highest ever imposed on an EU member state and is just the latest flashpoint in the escalating tensions between the European bloc and Poland.
Since coming to power, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party has radically overhauled how the country’s judges are appointed and has set up a disciplinary chamber in the country’s supreme court, which critics say exists to intimidate judges.
Europe’s top court says the daily fine will remain in place until Warsaw agrees to close the chamber, warning the court’s suspension was necessary “in order to avoid serious and irreparable harm to the legal order of the European Union”.
Meanwhile, Warsaw has hit back at the fine with Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki accusing the EU of blackmail and coercion.
Today, on In the News, presenter Sorcha Pollak speaks to Irish Times Berlin correspondent Derek Scally about what this latest escalation in tensions could mean for Poland’s future status as an EU member and asks, could a Polexit still be on the cards?
Also, could Poland’s refusal to follow orders from Europe’s top court threaten the future of the union itself?
In the News is presented by reporters Sorcha Pollak and Conor Pope.
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