Poland has to pay a million euros every day until a disciplinary court for judges is lifted. This penalty is intended to force the EU country to listen to the European Court of Justice after all.
The European Commission had asked the court for the punitive measure because the government in Warsaw does not want to come to grips with the lingering conflict with Brussels over the reforms of the Polish judiciary. These affect the independence of the Polish judiciary, Brussels believes, as the European Court agreed in July.
Poland can refuse to transfer the penalty payment to the European Commission, but that does not help the country. The amount can also be deducted from the EU subsidies that Poland receives.
The legal tug-of-war with the European institutions is beginning to weigh on the Polish treasury. The Luxembourg court also imposed a penalty on Poland last month for refusing to close a coal mine that would pollute Czech territory. That costs Poland half a million a day. The quarrel over the rule of law also stops the payment of billions of euros from the European corona recovery fund to Poland.
The amount of a penalty usually indicates, among other things, how serious the European Court considers the failure to be. A few years ago, in yet another Polish case, the court held it at 100,000 euros a day.