Today, the European Court of Justice has just ruled that Poland is in breach of the EU Treaties for measures aimed at lowering the retirement age of judges, at different ages for men and women, and for allowing the Minister of Justice discretion to prolong judges' service. The Greens/EFA group have long argued that this amounts to political interference in the independence of the Polish judiciary and runs counter to the rule of law and European values.
Terry Reintke MEP, Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on Poland in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, comments:
"Today's ruling is a vindication for all those fighting to preserve the rule of law and democracy in Poland. The Polish government must rescind all measures aimed at meddling in the independence of the judiciary.
"Forcing different retirement ages for judges of the ordinary courts according to their gender is contrary to the principle of gender equality and must be rectified. Everyone should be equal under the law and equality must be built into the legal system.
"The PiS government's attempts to undermine 30 years of democratic progress and revert Poland to a state where one party controls the courts goes against everything the EU stands for. The Polish people deserve to live in a free, democratic and European country and the government must respect the ruling of the Court of Justice."