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Poland demands explanations over scathing report

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 24.02.2017 08:31
The Polish foreign ministry summoned a Poland-based European Commission official to explain a scathing report “revealed by the media” on the rule of law in the country.
Marek Prawda. Photo: Flickr.com/Stephan Baumann.Marek Prawda. Photo: Flickr.com/Stephan Baumann.

This marks the latest in a series of standoffs between Warsaw and Brussels amid concern in the European Commission over the rule of law in Poland.

Marek Prawda, head of the European Commission Representation in Poland, was summoned to the foreign ministry in Warsaw on Thursday “in connection with media reports about an analysis of Poland’s justice system drawn up by the European Commission Representation in Poland,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry suggested “the document sponsored by the European Commission Representation in Poland and its head” portrays an inaccurate picture of changes at Poland’s National Council of the Judiciary, which is a constitutional body tasked with safeguarding the independence of courts and judges.

The report presents these changes “in a cursory manner, without proper reporting on the Minister of Justice’s position, which has... been publicly expressed,” the ministry said.

The ministry also said the document “is clearly defamatory in nature” in its part referring to “alleged persecutions of judges who object to the planned reforms.”

According to the ministry, the document contains unfounded accusations against Poland’s public authorities: that they have failed to act in alleged cases of judges being intimidated “by unknown perpetrators” and over alleged “damaged tyres and brakes” on cars. These claims “are not supported by any evidence whatsoever,” the ministry said.

The ministry said it has called on the European Commission Representation in Poland to “immediately report all information it has on this issue to the Prosecutor’s Office.”

It added that “failure to provide the sources of such information will mean that the EC Representation in Warsaw bears responsibility for such allegations.”

The ministry also said it “considers it unacceptable that official communication from the EC Representation formulate such absurd and unfounded charges against an EU member state.”

It added that “information on the situation in a country should be compiled in adherence to the principle of due care and objectivity.”

According to the ministry, the document “questions the reliability of other information provided by the Representation,” which it suggested might have influenced the Commission on a number of other issues regarding Poland that have caused concerns in Brussels. (str/pk/vb)

Source: MSZ, PAP

tags: rule of law
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