Gov't spokesman less optimistic about release of EU money

The spokesman for the Polish government has said he had lost some optimism about Poland getting EU recovery funding soon as "some EU politicians have radicalised" their conflict with Warsaw over judicial reforms.

The European Commission (EC) has been delaying its decision to approve Poland's post-pandemic recovery plan, which the Polish opposition says is due to the government's failure to implement the EU top court's rulings concerning the country's judicial reforms.

Piotr Mueller told the Dziennik Gazeta Prawna newspaper on Monday that he did not believe that the EC would block money for Poland, or any other country, permanently as this would cause "strong political tremors in the EU."

He said EU had more pressing issues to resolve at the moment, including the migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border, which is also an EU border, or the new Taliban government in Afghanistan.

"But some mechanisms of European bureaucracy cannot be sped up," he observed.

The EU has accused Law and Justice, Poland's ruling party, of politicising the justice system, an accusation that the country's conservative government firmly denies.

In a July ruling, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ordered Poland to shut down a disciplinary panel at the Supreme Court, saying that it lacks independence and can be used by the government to silence defiant judges.

Despite the ruling party leader's declaration that the government will close down the panel, nothing has been done to implement the CJEU ruling.

Mueller said that the government wants to carry out this reform, but added that "it cannot be a strong condition" and "we cannot have this law written by someone in Brussels."