Poland will enforce its rights in EU - ruling party spokesman

Poland will apply the principle of reciprocity in relations with Brussels and will enforce its rights as an EU member, a spokesman for Law and Justice, Poland’s ruling party, has said in reference to attempts to block European funds for Poland.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said in July that the EU will not grant Poland access to its Recovery Fund until Warsaw makes further concessions in a protracted rule-of-law dispute over a judicial disciplinary chamber.

Talking to the Wnet radio broadcaster, Radoslaw Fogiel said: "We are not pulling out the cannons. After the stage of trying to be a really gentle lamb, open to talks and really ready to make concessions, given the lack of reaction from the other side, we will simply start to use symmetrical actions."

"We will stick to the letter of the treaties. We will apply the principle of reciprocity in our relations with Brussels."

Asked about what it means in political practice to "stick to the letter of the treaties", Fogiel replied: "As Poland, we will rigorously enforce the rights that belong to us, and at the same time we will be very scrupulous in ensuring that European institutions and the European Commission do not enter the areas where the treaties, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, for example, do not give them any competences.”

According to him, the European Commission has no competences in the matter of the functioning of the judiciary in an EU state and that "the organisation of the judiciary falls from A to Z within the competences of the member states."

Fogiel said that the reason that Poland has not been paid funds from the EU Recovery Fund is "purely political."

In an interview published over the weekend, PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said Poland has "shown a maximum of good will and readiness to compromise" in the rule-of-law dispute, but the EU's reluctance to release the funding despite Poland's concessions has forced his party to consider altering its relationship with the EU.

"We have shown a maximum of good will, we agreed to compromise solutions, but evidently this is not what it's all about. If we win (the next election – PAP), we will have to rearrange our relations with the EU," Kaczynski said, adding that "concessions have brought us nothing."