Poland will defend contested court reforms: FM
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland’s foreign minister said on Wednesday his country would defend its right to reform its justice system amid a dispute with Brussels over a punitive procedure against Warsaw.
Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz. Photo: PAP/Jacek Turczyk
Jacek Czaputowicz was responding to news that the European Union’s executive has requested that the EU Council holds a formal hearing focusing on concerns that the governing conservatives have eroded the rule of law in Poland.
The Polish ruling conservative Law and Justice party, which swept to power in late 2015, has denied such allegations.
"We are ready to defend our position," said Czaputowicz. He added: "We will emphasise Poland's right to carry out reforms and that these are compliant with EU standards."
The European Commission, the executive arm of the 28-nation European Union, in December took the unprecedented step of triggering Article 7 of the EU Treaty against Poland.
The move meant that the EU’s executive wanted the bloc’s member states to declare that the rule of law in Poland was under threat. That could potentially pave the way for sanctions being imposed on Poland.
The Polish government has since moved to modify the disputed legal changes.
But during a debate on Poland in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans reiterated criticism of court reforms in Poland, saying they threatened the independence of the judiciary.
Czaputowicz has previously said that there is little room for further compromise with Brussels.