Since the Polish government was elected in 2016, it has made massive changes to the country’s judicial system: hundreds of judges have been forced to retire and more than 13 laws have been passed, regulating the appointment and the oversight of judges. Many Poles fear that the courts have lost their independence and are now controlled by the government. The European Commission (EC) also has doubts about the independence of Poland’s courts and is trying to stop or reverse the changes which led to this backsliding.
For the EU, this conflict will be decisive. If member states cannot have confidence that partner states are democratic and respect the rule of law, the deep cooperation within the EU framework loses its basis.
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