An EU source close to the issue has told EURACTIV that the European Commission is mulling partly backing off on its demands and may concentrate on just one – abolishing the Disciplinary Chamber.
According to the source, this is a compromise approach that can streamline disbursement of the Polish national recovery plan, considering that Jarosław Kaczyński already announced the Chamber would be abolished.
The source emphasised that this step back from the Polish side came before the European Parliament confrontation with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki last week.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the executive was exploring several options such as suing Warsaw before the EU Court of Justice, triggering the mechanism tying the disbursement of EU funds to rule of law, and the Article 7 procedure, whereby other member states could strip Warsaw of voting rights.
Rumours in Brussels suggest that for the executive, dialogue with Poland is a top priority. To streamline a national recovery plan for Poland, it is expected only to shut down the Disciplinary Chamber rather than meet the other two above-mentioned conditions from last week.
Therefore, the European Commission is considering postponing a de facto implementation of the conditionality mechanism until the CJEU’s decision on Poland’s and Hungary’s complaint (CJEU judge’s opinion to be announced on 2 December, while the CJEU’s ruling at the beginning of 2022).
Abolishing just the Disciplinary Chamber would mean a compromise on the side of Poland that is thus meeting one of three demands of the European Commission, which is also in line with July’s CJEU ruling.
At the same time, the European Commission would need to compromise with the Polish government, accepting that just one out of three demands met is enough.
Consultants also estimate that the debate over the primacy of EU law would be kept separate from the Recovery Fund as much as possible, as there is no easy solution available.
In the meantime, the EU’s highest court has imposed a €1 million daily fine on Warsaw for not implementing its summer orders.