A Tactical Retreat in Warsaw

Poland compromises but the EU isn’t satisfied.

Jacob L. Shapiro |November 28, 2018

Poland will not impose early retirement on its Supreme Court justices after all. Bowing to an October European Court of Justice ruling, the Polish legislature has voted to repeal a law that lowered the mandatory retirement age for its Supreme Court justices from 70 to 65. That law, part of Polish judicial reforms passed in 2017, ran afoul of the European Commission, which has repeatedly described the reforms sponsored by the ruling Law and Justice party, or PiS, as incompatible with “EU laws, values, and principles.” Publicly, the European Commission is pleased. In Warsaw on Friday, its vice president called the repeal of the retirement provision a “welcome step.” Under the cover of anonymity, however, EU officials told the Financial Times that the move “would not resolve the broader standoff with Warsaw.” If that is the European Union’s true stance, it raises the question of whether Poland can do anything to completely satisfy Brussels short of bending the knee.

Much-

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