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ZEIT - Poland in Rule of Law Conflict with the EU

The EU and Poland are at loggerheads over respect for the rule of law. Policy Fellow Thu Nguyen talks in an interview about possible financial leverage on the part of the EU and how it can be applied.

When political pressure is no longer enough, financial pressure is needed, says Policy Fellow Thu Nguyen in a ZEIT interview on the rule of law conflict between Poland and the EU.

The European Court of Justice sentenced Poland to pay a fine of one million euros per day: "Of course, one million euros also has a signalling effect. After all, it's not about punishing Poland, but about getting the country to apply ECJ rulings that will ensure that an independent judiciary is restored in Poland, and that will protect the European legal order." Furthermore, she believes that the EU cannot change the political will of the Polish government. Nevertheless, she says, the Commission must stand firm if an EU member wants to abolish the independence of the judiciary. The 23.9 billion euros from the reconstruction fund are particularly helpful as leverage, which in her opinion is a very different lever than the one million daily penalty payment.

Find the full interview in German here.