No current plans for further reforms of judiciary says gov’t spokesman
The Polish government has no plans at the moment to make further changes to the judicial system, a government spokesman said on Tuesday.
Piotr Mueller told reporters at a press conference that, during a meeting of the Council of Ministers held on Tuesday, some legislation currently in process was adopted.
"There, where we have consensus, we are implementing changes," he pointed out, mentioning digitalisation and changes to the prison service.
"As to any other changes, so far no decisions have been taken by the Polish government," said Mueller.
The freeze on further changes to the judicial system could exacerbate differences between Zbigniew Ziobro, the justice minister, and Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister.
Ziobro, leader of the euro-sceptic Solidary Poland party, a junior ally in the coalition government, has been keen to push for further changes, while defending those already made.
In contrast, Morawiecki has sought to backtrack on some changes in an apparent effort to appease Brussels in order to gain access to post-pandemic recovery funding.
Meuller responded to recent comments made by Ziobro, who said that the time of consent to further reforms to the Polish judiciary ended when Morawiecki took office, by saying that differences of opinion occur, even in the government.
The differences between the two have complicated efforts to heal the rift between Poland and the European Commission (EC) over the Polish government's overhaul of the justice system, which the EC says has infringed upon EU values and undermined rule of law in Poland.
Recently, the Polish government agreed to a number of concessions, or milestones, in order to gain access to EU post-pandemic funding worth EUR 35.4 billion, but Ziobro has said concessions would bring no gain to Poland.
Morawiecki rejected this and said on Friday that "99 percent of the milestones are totally in line with Poland's interests."
He added that he "wouldn't like to die for the justice system." This, in turn, triggered a response from Ziobro who said on Sunday that "the green light to changes in the justice system ended with the departure of Beata Szydlo," referring to Morawiecki taking over the prime minister's post from Szydlo in 2017.