Poland expects thorough scrutiny of White Paper on justice reforms - PM

Poland expects thorough scrutiny of its White Paper on justice reforms, just as Warsaw thoroughly analysed the EC's recommendations in this respect, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday in Brussels after talks with EC President Jean-Claude Juncker.

During the meeting with Juncker, Morawiecki gave him a White Paper explaining the reasons for Poland's recent reforms of its justice system, over which the EC has launched a rule-of-law procedure against Warsaw.

"What we expect now is very thorough, factual and serious scrutiny of this document, just as serious as our treatment of the EC's recommendations," Morawiecki said after the talks.

Morawiecki opined that it will probably take the Commission several weeks to pore through the White Paper, but observed that this was necessary as the Polish justice reforms could not be properly perceived on the strength of fragmentary information.

"Isolated, fragmentary information is incomplete and does not allow a full picture of why these changes were necessary," Morawiecki said.

Morawiecki called his talks with Juncker "down to earth," and stressed that during the meeting he had told the EC president that many of the solutions contained in the Polish justice reforms were is use in other EU countries.

Asked if the talks with Juncker had brought any breakthrough in the rule-of-law conflict with the EC, Morawiecki said it was hard for him to judge, but voiced hope for a "positive turn" in the matter.

In December 2017, the EC launched the EU Treaty's disciplinary Article 7 procedure against Poland over its court reforms, giving Warsaw three months to amend its judicial policies so that courts remain independent and the rule of law is upheld. The procedure could ultimately lead to sanctions, such as the suspension of Poland's voting rights in the EU, but all member states would have to agree.