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EC worried about democracy in Poland: French official

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 04.10.2017 13:55
The European Commission is worried about the state of democracy in Poland, France’s European minister told the Gazeta Wyborcza daily ahead of an official visit to Warsaw on Wednesday.
Paris. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Taxiarchos228.Paris. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Taxiarchos228.

French European Minister Nathalie Loiseau said there are concerns in Brussels and in a number of European Union member states over the separation of powers in Poland.

Poland has been locked in an ongoing conflict with Brussels over rule of law concerns, exacerbated in summer after the ruling conservatives tried to push through judicial reforms which would have given significant powers to politicians to appoint court judges.

Poland is also in conflict with Brussels over so-called posted workers. The European Commission wants to see workers from different countries paid at least the minimum wage of the country they are in.

Warsaw has said that Polish hauliers will be hit by the proposed changes. But Paris has said that different pay for the same job is creating unfair competition for French workers in their own country.

Loiseau asked whether Poland, as a major supplier of posted workers, with low unemployment and a deficit of skilled workers, should be aiming for “more ambitious social security for its own workers”.

She also said that Poland, after being staunchly opposed to any changes to the posted workers rules in place since 1996, has now become more open to a review of those laws.

In earlier talks between officials from Paris and Warsaw, proposals to exclude the transport industry from changes were made.

Loiseau was expected in Warsaw on Wednesday to talk about the future of the European Union, plans to change the European Union’s rules about posted workers, and the rule of law situation within the bloc.

She was expected to meet Konrad Szymański, Poland's deputy foreign minister in charge of European affairs, presidential aide Krzysztof Szczerski as well as representatives of the opposition and social activists. (vb/pk)

Source: Gazeta Wyborcza

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