The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ordered Poland to pay a fine of €1 million ($1.2 million) per day on Wednesday over its decision to ignore an EU ruling on Warsaw’s judicial reforms.
The top EU court imposed the penalty as Poland has not suspended the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court. The ECJ had ruled in July that the chamber did not guarantee impartiality.
The ECJ said the fine was “necessary in order to avoid serious and irreparable harm to the legal order of the European Union and to the values on which that Union is founded, in particular that of the rule of law.”
The European Commission had requested “financial penalties” be levied after Poland failed to comply with the July ruling.
Poland has been embroiled in a long-running dispute with Brussels over judicial reforms it says undermine the independence of courts. The row heated up in July when the Court of Justice of the European Union ordered the country to suspend the disciplinary chamber.
“In the ruling issued today, the Vice-President of the Tribunal obliged Poland to pay…a penalty payment of EUR 1 million per day, counting from the date on which this ruling was delivered to Poland,” the Court of Justice statement read.
Poland has said it will abolish the chamber as part of broader reforms, but has not yet presented detailed plans.
Deputy Justice Minister Sebastian Kaleta said the demand was “usurpation and blackmail” in comments posted on Twitter.