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28th May 2022

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Climate talk and Polish legal woes in focus This WEEK

  • At the COP26 meeting, governmentswill check on their progress to keep global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels (Photo: Frans Berkelaar)
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The 2021 UN climate change conference (COP26) kicked off on Monday (1 November) in Glasgow, with governments meeting to coordinate how to tackle climate change.

Originally scheduled for 2020, the meeting was postponed by one year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The governments will check on their progress compared with the 2015 Paris Agreement's goal of keeping global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.

The EU delegation will be led by European Council president Charles Michel, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and Slovenian prime minister Janez Janša, representing the Slovenian presidency of the Council of the EU.

The first week of November is generally the quietest week in the EU bubble besides the summer period.

The parliament has a 'Green Week', when MEPs are supposed to reconnect with their constituency, and the council of member states hold no meetings.

'Lawlessness'

Nevertheless, Poland will be on the mind of many.

The European Court of Justice last week ordered the Warsaw government to pay a €1m-per-day fine for not adhering to an earlier ruling on suspending the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court, which is used to intimidate judges.

Poland's justice minister said last week that Poland should not pay any of the fines, including a previous one for failing to respect an injunction to close the Turow lignite mine.

Justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro called the ECJ rulings lawless.

However, prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last week the government will work out a compromise, but said it will take months.

Von der Leyen last week again laid down three conditions for Poland to have its Covid-19 recovery subsidies approved by the EU executive.

Poland would need to "dismantle the disciplinary chamber, to end or reform the disciplinary regime, and to start a process to reinstall the judges" to access the funding.

Nordic Council

In the meantime, the Nordic Council will be held in the Danish Parliament this week starting from Tuesday until Thursday (1-4 November).

It is the biggest annual political forum of parliamentarians and prime ministers from across the Nordic region. This year's main topic is how to prevent a repetition of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Security is another important theme at the Nordic Council. With Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg addressing the assembly on Wednesday (3 November), security has gone from being not discussed at all - to the main topic.

Sweden and Finland are no longer embarrassed to cooperate with Nato countries, Nordic Council president, Bertel Haarder, told EUobserver in an interview prior to the meeting.

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