Poland will oppose linking EU funds to rule of law: minister
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland’s investment and development minister has said his country, and many others, are against a move to tie pay-outs of EU funds with the rule of law situation in member states.
Photo: image4you/pixabay.com/CC0 Creative Commons
Jerzy Kwieciński said that such measures would have to be accepted by all EU states, because the bloc’s new budget has to be approved by all member countries.
"And we will oppose such solutions very strongly," Kwieciński said.
Warsaw has been locked in a row with Brussels about sweeping changes to courts in Poland.
Last month European Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said Brussels was working on a way of making pay-outs of all EU funds conditional on member states having an efficient judicial system and upholding the rule of law.
The European Commission in December 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.
Rule of law
The move means that the EU’s executive wants the bloc’s member states to declare the rule of law in Poland is under threat.
Such a step could pave the way for sanctions being imposed on Poland, for example suspending its voting rights in the European Union. But penalties on Warsaw would have to be backed unanimously by EU member states, while Hungary has said it would not support sanctions.
Poland's governing Law and Justice (PiS) party has said sweeping changes are needed to reform an inefficient and sometimes corrupt judicial system tainted by the communist past, accusing judges of being a self-serving clique often out of touch with the problems of ordinary citizens.
But opponents have accused Law and Justice of aiming to stack courts with its own candidates and to dismantle the rule of law.
EU leaders are to discuss the bloc’s post-2020 budget plans at an informal summit next week.