The Polish parliament decided on Thursday to abolish the controversial disciplinary chamber at the Supreme Court. The chamber, which could punish and dismiss judges, is at the center of the conflict over the judicial reforms of the national-conservative Polish government that has been going on for years.

According to the draft passed on Thursday, the Disciplinary Chamber is to be replaced by a new body. After approval by the Sejm, the draft law introduced by Polish President Andrzej Duda now has to be passed by the Senate.

The Commission assessed the Disciplinary Body as a threat to the independence of judges. In October, the European Court of Justice ordered Poland to pay a fine of one million euros a day because the government in Warsaw initially refused to dissolve the disciplinary chamber.

The EU Commission has also made the dissolution of the Disciplinary Chamber a prerequisite for the release of European Corona aid of around 35 billion euros.

The Polish government said last week that it hoped that the EU aid funds would be released soon after the impending dissolution of the Disciplinary Chamber. However, critics complain that the law that has now been passed does not address concerns about political influence on the judiciary in Poland. “This draft law does not meet the conditions of the European Commission,” said Polish opposition MP Barbara Dolniak.

The dissolution of the Disciplinary Chamber should also be an issue during a visit by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. She wants to travel to Poland next week.