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Poland offers compromise, wants Brussels to halt Article 7 procedure: FM

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 23.03.2018 11:00
Poland wants Brussels to withdraw its Article 7 procedure against Warsaw, the Polish foreign minister has said after his country moved to modify disputed legal changes that have triggered a row with the EU.
Jacek Czaputowicz. Picture: Polish RadioJacek Czaputowicz. Picture: Polish Radio

Jacek Czaputowicz was speaking after the country’s ruling conservatives on Thursday signalled they would accommodate some of the EU executive’s recommendations over sweeping changes to the court system in Poland.

Czaputowicz told public Polish Radio 1 on Friday that a new piece of legislation drafted by MPs from Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party was designed to modify contested laws reforming the judiciary in a way that would “respond to the European Commission’s expectations.”

He also said that Poland was seeking a compromise with the European Commission over sweeping judicial reforms.

“We are working for the Commission to withdraw its proposal [over Article 7] and we would not want it to be put to a vote,” he said.

In a similar statement, Czaputowicz told public broadcaster TVP on Thursday evening that he would like to see an end to Warsaw’s dispute with Brussels over judicial changes and that Poland was doing everything to make that happen.

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 the controversial changes to Poland’s justice system.

"We need to meet [the Commission’s] expectations halfway,” Czaputowicz told TVP.

He also said that the authorities in Warsaw were working to bring about a halt to the Commission’s Article 7 proceedings against Poland.

Earlier on Thursday, Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice party came forward with a legislative initiative to modify disputed laws regulating the work of the country's common court system and the Supreme Court.

Under the draft, the justice minister would no longer be able to dismiss court presidents and deputy presidents without consulting judges and the powerful National Council of the Judiciary, PiS MP Marek Ast told reporters.

In a further modification of existing regulations which politicians said was intended to accommodate the European Commission’s recommendations, the retirement age of male and female judges would be set at an equal level of 65 years of age.

And in what appeared to be another step designed to help reach an agreement with Brussels, the country’s ruling conservatives said they were ready to publish three Constitutional Tribunal judgments that the ruling party argues the top court issued in violation of the law in 2016.


Source: IAR, PAP,TVP, Polskie Radio

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