Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Understanding Poland's Battles With the EU

City skyscrapers are seen from the Palace of Culture and Science building on the skyline of Warsaw, Poland.

Photographer: Bartek Sadowski/Bloomberg

Updated on

Two years into Poland’s populist revolution, the European Union has recommended launching an unprecedented disciplinary process that could lead to penalties against the Polish government for failing to respect democratic standards. At stake is the value of Polish assets, with the zloty weakening when conflicts with the EU escalate, and the cohesion of the union itself, as an increasing number of governments challenge its liberal principles.

Poland’s parliament this month backed rules that would force out some two-fifths of Supreme Court justices and give politicians more sway over a council that decides on court appointments. If signed into law by President Andrzej Duda, the rules would put at serious risk the independence of “all parts of the Polish judiciary,” according to the Venice Commission, which advises the Council of Europe human rights group on constitutional law.