Polish government sticks to guns on justice reform after EU meeting

Warsaw – Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki defended controversial reforms to the country’s justice system, after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker met with him to address the European Union’s criticism of the new laws.
“We explained what the justice reforms mean for us,” Morawiecki told Polish journalists late Tuesday following the meeting in Brussels.
While both sides praised the friendly tone of the discussion, which lasted more than two hours, the national-conservative Polish premier said his country would not bow to pressure from the EU to change the reform laws.

European warning to Poland

Last month, Polish President Andrzej Duda signed two laws that critics argue would excessively politicize the National Council for the Judiciary – a legal oversight body – and the Supreme Court.
The European Commission has launched an unprecedented formal warning process against Poland over the changes, threatening to suspend the country’s voting rights in the bloc.

Differences in vision towards immigration

“Our intention is to improve the system, to make it fairer and more objective,” Morawiecki insisted, according to Poland’s PAP news agency.
His ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) argues that Poland’s judiciary has not seen reforms since communist times and claims that many judges are corrupt.
Brussels and Warsaw have also failed to see eye-to-eye on EU migration policies, with Poland refusing to accept refugees redistributed from other member states.
“We are sticking with our position,” Morawiecki was quoted as saying on the issue.