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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

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  • 20 December 2017

    Poland regrets the launching by the European Commission of the procedure foreseen in Art. 7 of the Treaty on the European Union, which is essentially political, not a legal one. It puts an unnecessary burden on our mutual relations, which may render it difficult to build understanding and mutual trust between Warsaw and Brussels. That is why we are always ready for talks – during the last European Council, Prime Minister M. Morawiecki reaffirmed our will to continue dialogue at the highest level with the Commission, which was positively received by the latter. We hope that soon we will be able to present our position in a direct and open way.

    It should also be stressed that the Polish government is conducting a dialogue with the European Commission in good faith and upholds previous declarations regarding its readiness to familiarize the representatives of the European Commission with all aspects of the legislative process aimed at reforming the Polish justice system. Poland is also willing to present the content and objectives of the reform in the General Affairs Council, as well as in bilateral contacts, if necessary. We are convinced that all member states, without unnecessarily stigmatizing one of them, will listen carefully to the arguments put forward by Poland, regardless of the unnecessary political pressure exerted by the European institutions.


    We want to continue to reform our justice system. We owe it to our voters, this is what society expects of us. We are open to social and political debate on this important reform, and from our European partners we expect a comprehensive, objective evaluation and a better understanding of the changes that were introduced to draft laws on the Supreme Court and the National Council of the Judiciary during the legislative work.


    In our opinion, the recently introduced changes to laws reforming the system of justice in Poland accommodate the expectations of the Commission. Among other areas, it is worth pointing to the strengthening of the role of the President of the Republic of Poland in the process of assessing the legitimacy of becoming a judge when adjudicating, or even giving up the automatic dismissal of all standing judges of the Supreme Court and introducing the same retirement age for men and women. In addition, the new draft law on the National Council of the Judiciary provides for the selection of members of the National Council of the Judiciary by a qualified 3/5 majority. We hope that all of these issues will be noted by the Commission.


    We cannot accept one-sided and unfair opinions directed at Poland. The negative information campaign about reforms carried out in our country is not based on facts and prevents us from addressing the allegations. It has an impact on the objectivity of European institutions and places a shadow over our good co-operation. 

     
    Poland fully agrees that one of the elements of the rule of law - both in member states and the European Union - is the functioning of independent courts that provide objective and impartial monitoring of compliance with the law. In the European Union, this court is the Court of Justice, which, pursuant to Art. 19 Para. 1 of the TEU ensures respect for the law in the interpretation and application of the Treaties. It is for the Court of Justice to decide whether a member state has failed to fulfil an obligation imposed on it by the Treaties.


    Poland has always respected and will continue to respect the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union, regardless of the subject matter and the differences of opinion in this regard. We are of the opinion that doubts regarding the compatibility of national law with EU law should be resolved by a routine procedure at the Court of Justice.


    Poland is ready to defend its claims at the Court of Justice as an independent and impartial judicial body, and even expects that it will be able to do so. Poland hopes that the launching of the Article 7 procedure by the Commission will not interfere with proceedings at the Court and that an impartial legal assessment of actions taken by the Polish authorities will not be replaced by biased political assessments.
     

    MFA Press Office

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