Brussels says it can react to rule-of-law concerns in Poland
PR dla Zagranicy
Brussels has refuted Warsaw's claims that the European Commission has no grounds to interfere in Poland's internal matters after the country on Monday rejected the commission's “grave concerns” over judicial reforms.
Photo: Joe Gratz (Public Domain)
European Commission spokeswoman Vanessa Mock said procedures allow Brussels to react to rule-of-law concerns in Poland and could lead to article seven sanctions being invoked.
But Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski on Monday said the commission had no grounds to interfere in internal matters, and judicial reforms in Poland were no threat to the independence of courts.
Poland rejected Brussels' concerns in a 12-page document which Mock said was a lot to take in.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker are expected to discuss Polish rule-of-law concerns during their Wednesday meeting in Berlin.
The European Commission said last month that Warsaw's planned reforms to the judiciary amplified a “systemic threat to the rule of law in Poland.”
The Polish foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday that Warsaw had replied by underlining “that the ongoing legislative measures, whose overriding aim is to reform the judicial system, are in line with European standards and respond to many years of growing social expectations...”
The commission said last month it was ready to trigger a formal warning by the EU if Poland dismisses or forces the retirement of Supreme Court judges, following days of street protests in Poland against the country's ruling conservatives' planned changes to the judiciary. (vb)