/Poland takes leaf out of Juncker’s e book in Brussels battle

Poland takes leaf out of Juncker’s e book in Brussels battle

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and EU Fee President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels | Emmanuel Dunand/AFP through Getty Photos

Prime minister presents Fee president with doc defending controversial judicial overhaul.

In an effort to stave off EU censure, Poland’s prime minister on Thursday took a leaf out of Jean-Claude Juncker’s e book — nearly actually.

Mateusz Morawiecki introduced the European Fee president with a 94-page “white e book,” drawn up by his authorities, which seeks to point out that Warsaw’s overhaul of the authorized system doesn’t undermine the rule of regulation — opposite to the view of the Fee, a number of EU member international locations and civil society activists, who see the revamp as an influence seize by the ruling Legislation and Justice occasion.

Warsaw’s effort to grab the initiative was harking back to a method deployed by Juncker himself final yr, when he unveiled a white paper on EU reform that set the agenda for debate concerning the bloc’s future.

The transfer appears unlikely to vary the Fee’s thoughts however it might no less than purchase Poland a bit of time in its battle with Brussels. Final December, the Fee took the unprecedented step of triggering the so-called Article 7 process — a authorized course of that may result in the imposition of sanctions on an EU member nation. The Fee gave Poland three months to handle the issues it has recognized.

Morawiecki claimed that the reforms boosted the independence of the judiciary.

The Polish authorities’s doc argues that its judicial reforms meet EU requirements and “are impressed by good practices of different member states.” It says its Nationwide Council of the Judiciary, for instance, is elected in a fashion similar to one in Spain and states that in Germany “there isn’t any such council in any respect.”

The Fee, in contrast, assessed that the reforms contravene Poland’s personal structure and EU regulation. It concluded there was a “clear danger of a critical breach of the rule of regulation” in Poland.

However Morawiecki claimed in Brussels on Thursday that the federal government’s reforms boosted the independence of the judiciary.

“We consider that by way of this reform, we’re considerably enhancing and strengthening independence and objectivity,” he informed reporters.

Final week, members of the European Parliament voted by a large majority to help the Fee’s stance and known as on the Council to “swiftly decide” whether or not Poland is susceptible to a critical breach of EU regulation.

Since Morawiecki — a clean media performer — grew to become prime minister late final yr, Warsaw has proven a larger willingness to have interaction in dialogue with Brussels. However its underlying message has remained the identical — it gained’t again down.

The Council might vote by a four-fifths majority that there’s “a transparent danger of a critical breach” of the EU’s core values.

Hoping for help from EU member governments, Morawiecki mentioned he had despatched the white e book to all European capitals. “We’ll now within the subsequent couple of weeks attempt to attain out to everyone who want to discuss to us,” he mentioned.

The Article 7 course of can finally result in the suspension of a member nation’s voting rights contained in the EU. The probabilities of Poland going through this sanction are slim as all different EU international locations would wish to agree and Hungary, for one, has already mentioned it will veto such a step.

Nevertheless, the Council might vote by a four-fifths majority that there’s “a transparent danger of a critical breach” of the EU’s core values — which might be the primary time it had ever handed such vote of censure towards one in all its personal members.