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Poland ‘devoted to rule of law’: PM

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 20.12.2017 16:01
Poland is "as devoted to the rule of law as the rest" of the European Union, the country’s prime minister wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Poland's PM Mateusz Morawiecki. Photo: PAP/Jakub KamińskiPoland's PM Mateusz Morawiecki. Photo: PAP/Jakub Kamiński

Mateusz Morawiecki took to Twitter after the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, earlier in the day took the unprecedented step of triggering Article 7 of the EU Treaty against Poland, stepping up pressure on Warsaw over controversial changes to the judicial system by the country’s ruling conservatives.

Morawiecki tweeted: “[The] current judiciary reform is deeply needed. The dialogue between the Commission and Warsaw needs to be both open and honest. I believe that Poland’s sovereignty and the idea of United Europe can be reconciled.”

Poland has been a member of the EU since 2004.

In an opinion piece for the Washington Examiner published last week, Morawiecki said that Poland’s judicial system is “deeply flawed” and that the country’s ruling conservatives were elected with a mandate to overhaul it.

Speaking at ceremonies on Sunday marking the anniversary of a communist-era massacre of workers in northern Poland, Morawiecki said that some of those responsible for communist crimes in Poland were never brought to justice because the country’s court system remains marred by communist holdovers.

Invite from Juncker

Meanwhile, the head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, on Wednesday invited Morawiecki for talks in Brussels on January 9 to “intensify our discussions on all issues of mutual interest, including the rule of law.”

Referring to the European Commission’s Article 7 move, Juncker wrote on Twitter in a message posted in Polish: “It is a difficult day for Poland, but also for the EU.” He added that “dialogue is especially needed in such moments.”

Juncker posted a picture of a letter addressed to Morawiecki saying that “a genuine dialogue is the only way to overcome the differences we presently have.”

Morawiecki has accepted the invitation, Poland's PAP news agency reported on Wednesday afternoon quoting government spokeswoman Joanna Kopcińska.

'Political' step: Polish foreign ministry

In a reaction to the European Commission’s decision, Poland’s foreign ministry said that the EU executive's move to launch the Article 7 procedure unnecessarily burdened mutual relations and could hinder efforts to build an understanding and mutual trust between Warsaw and Brussels.

The Polish foreign ministry also said that the Commission’s decision was a step that “is essentially political, not a legal one.”

Poland is always ready for talks and willing to present the objectives of its justice system reform, the foreign ministry said.

It added that Poland was ready to make its case in the Court of Justice of the European Union.

In another reaction to the European Commission's Article 7 move, Poland’s Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro on Wednesday said that the Commission’s decision was "all about politics, not the rule of law.


Source: IAR, PAP

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