• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland



  • “We respect the European Commission’s right to express its opinion, we take its questions seriously, but the power to decide about the rules relating to the organisation of the judiciary rests with EU member states, not with the Commission,” MFA deputy chief Konrad Szymański argues.

    "(The dispute) does not concern the value of the rule of law (...); however, the interpretation of this rule is another matter. In this case the EC, the executive body of an international institution, is suggesting that it has the right to decide what is and what is not the rule of law,” MFA deputy chief and Secretary of State for European Affairs Konrad Szymański told TVN24, when asked about the dispute about the rule of law between Poland and the European Commission.

    "I am confident that such final opinions may be delivered exclusively by courts, including international courts; we are open to the idea of finding arguments in different matters also before a court,” said the deputy minister. “The problem is that the power to decide about the rules relating to the organisation of the judiciary rests with EU member states,” he stressed.

    The European Commission has been conducting the rule of law procedure against Poland since the beginning of 2016. In mid-July, the EC issued a warning that it was close to triggering Article 7 of the EU Treaty that allows sanctions in connection with Poland’s planned changes in the judicial system. Later, however, the President vetoed two of the four laws that Brussels has challenged. But it did not change the EU’s attitude which continues to emphasize that a systemic threat to the rule of law exists in Poland.

    “We are not denying the EC its right to express opinions, and so we take seriously every question, every recommendation,” said Szymański, noting nevertheless that the EC “has to recognise that the Polish state has the right to present its interpretation.”

    In the deputy minister’s opinion, the European Commission acts towards Poland “too scrupulously.” “The EU institutions are at least co-responsible for escalating tensions; we did not invent this dispute, we are responding to this dispute (…), if it were up to us, this dispute would never have happened,” he argued.
    Szymański also noted that “a new opening” has been created by the presidential vetoes of the laws on the Supreme Court and the National Council for the Judiciary, because none of the vetoed laws “has become part of the legal order.” The deputy minister believes that discussions on this subject are “a bit theoretical.” At this stage, when new bills have not yet been proposed by anyone to the Sejm,” the European Commission has really nothing to add,” he argued.

    Asked about the bills drafted by the President, the MFA deputy chief assured that “the President is a fully autonomous actor of the legislative process in Poland.” He went on to add that “any exchange of opinions or information” between the government and the president about the draft bills would be “something out of the ordinary.”

    Source: PAP

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