Duties of justice minister and prosecutor general must be separate says EC
The European Commission (EC) has recommended that the functions of the minister of justice and the prosecutor general in Poland should be separate.
The recommendation, which was contained in a report published on Wednesday, comes as further evidence of Commission's disquiet with some of the aspects of the rule of law in Poland.
At the moment, Zbigniew Ziobro, the Polish justice minister, also serves as national prosecutor, a dual-role that some claim could lead to a conflict of interest.
This is the third time the EC has published its assessment on the rule of law in EU countries, but the first time it has included recommendations for member states.
The report said the functions of the justice minister should be separate from those of the prosecutor general, and that the autonomy of the prosecutor's office from the government must be assured.
But Ziobro lashed out against the EC's report later on Wednesday, saying that the EU body wanted to increase its power over Poland.
"They would want to use the good will of the Polish government as if to pick a lock, to blackmail and enforce further changes," Ziobro said at a press conference.
"It's not about courts or prosecutors," he went on to say. "It's about power. It's about toppling the government that has a democratic mandate in Poland."