Tuesday

19th Nov 2019

Poland vows solution to judicial crisis

  • Poland's prime minister and the European commission's vice president spoke of a constructive dialogue. (Photo: Kancelaria Premiera)

Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo has said that she has found ways to end the country’s judicial crisis, in a move that has stopped the European Commission from publishing a critical report rule of law in the country.

"We agreed that Poland must solve the dispute on its own," she said at a press conference after meeting with a the commission's vice-president, Frans Timmermans, in Warsaw on Tuesday (24 May).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 year's of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

The Polish government’s attempt to reform the constitutional tribunal and appoint loyalist judges had earlier this year prompted the EU executive to launch a unique EU investigation into the rule of law in a member state.

Last week, the commission said it was ready to publish a report into the affair on Monday if Poland didn’t solve the problems.

The statement provoked public outrage in Warsaw, but also stimulated discussion behind closed doors.

In the end, Timmermans postponed his report and went to Warsaw to meet the Polish leaders instead.

He hailed the prime minister’s will to hold a dialogue with the EU and said he would do anything to find a way to end the conflict.

”I agree with you, prime minister, that this is an internal Polish problem that can only be solved at the Polish level,” he said at Tuesday’s press conference.

”But it’s the EU's interest to find a solution, because fully functioning member states are necessary for the proper functioning of the union, and that includes a functioning rule of law,” he said.

The commission would support ”all sides” in the conflict, he announced.

The prime minister said there was broad willingness in the Polish parliament - where Szydlo’s party holds the majority of seats - to endorse the solutions she proposed.

Neither of them went into detail on the nature of these solutions, however.

The press conference lasted just seven minutes and journalists were not allowed to ask questions.

Timmermans will report back to his colleagues during their weekly meeting on Wednesday (25 May). But it’s not sure whether the college will, the same day, also adopt his report on Poland.

A commission spokesperson said earlier on Tuesday that would be unlikely to happen in the absence of president Jean-Claude Juncker, who is travelling to Japan for a summit of G7 leaders.

The report, which may be updated with the Polish government’s promises, could be adopted next Wednesday (1 June) or not at all.

The commission is meant to guarantee respect for fundamental values in the EU.

But its scrutiny of Poland - the first of its kind - raised criticism from ruling Law and Justice, which recently passed a parliamentary resolution to underline that Poland is a sovereign country.

EU ready to step up Polish monitoring

Poland has said it will not undertake rule of law reforms before EU deadline, prompting stage two of unique monitoring process.

Poland questions legality of EU probe

On eve of potentially damning EU decision, Polish strongman Jaroslaw Kaczynski has said EU rule of law monitoring could be challenged in Luxembourg court.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary, Poland block EU conclusions on rule of law
  2. France: wide EU backing for enlargement change
  3. EU Council calls for policy action to protect marine life
  4. ECJ: Poland's judicial independence in doubt
  5. Suspected 'middleman' in Caruana Galizia case arrested
  6. European populists more favourable to Russia
  7. Hungary's new commissioner approved by MEPs
  8. Balkan coal power plants fail to meet emissions targets

Wilmès becomes first female PM of Belgium

On Sunday, Sophie Wilmès was appointed as the new prime minister of Belgium - becoming the first female head of government in the country's history. She replaces Charles Michel who becomes president of the European Council.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  3. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  5. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  6. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  7. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  9. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us