Officials: Poland done making concessions in dispute with EU
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s government is done trying to satisfy European Union concerns about ongoing changes to the country’s judicial system, officials said Sunday.
Jacek Sasin, an aide to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, said the government has “run out of concessions” and expects the European Commission to withdraw its threats to punish Poland over the changes that give the justice minister and the president roles in the appointment of judges.
“We are waiting for the other side’s move,” Sasin said on Poland’s state-owned TV. “For now, we are seeing no such will there.”
The European Commission says the changes undermine judicial independence and threaten the rule of law. It triggered a censure process in December that could lead to punitive measures and also made recommendations to Warsaw for improving the situation.
The conservative government has implemented some of the suggestions, but said others would weaken reforms that are a crucial element of government policy. Sasin said the ruling Law and Justice party promised to restructure the judicial system and the people of Poland are waiting for it to happen.
Presidential aide Krzysztof Szczerski insists the overhaul is “restituting justice” and will not be turned back.
The commission, which is the EU’s executive arm, has said the steps taken so far are insufficient. The European Parliament, the EU’s lawmaking body, is scheduled to discuss the rule of law in Poland on Wednesday.
Poland’s PAP news agency said that European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, who is overseeing the dialogue with Poland, plans to visit Warsaw in the coming days.