Joint NGOs letter: National Council of the Judiciary in Poland

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Ms Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Ms Věra JOUROVÁ, Vice-President of the European Commission

Mr Didier REYNDERS, Commissioner for Justice

On behalf of the undersigned Polish and international non-governmental organisations working for the rule of law and the protection of human rights and freedoms in the European Union, we feel obliged to send to you another open letter regarding recent events in the Polish justice system, hoping for the Commission to take firm and immediate action. Our serious concern is the continued operation of the Polish National Council of the Judiciary (NCJ), which has lost its independence as a result of legislative changes initiated in 2017. The functioning of the NCJ in its current form, in subordination to political authorities, undermines the guarantees of effective judicial protection (the second subparagraph of Article 19(1) TEU), the right to a court established by law (Article 47 of the Charter) and the effectiveness of the preliminary ruling procedure (Article 267 TFEU). As a result of its activities, the NCJ weakens confidence in Polish courts and, above all, the protection of the value of the rule of law, on which the entire Union is founded (Article 2 TEU).