Polish gov't sends 'white paper' supplement to EU members, bodies

The Polish government on Wednesday sent EU member states and institutions a supplement to its "white paper" that provided explanations on the country's judicial reforms that the European Commission regards as controversial.

In a Thursday press statement, the Polish Prime Minister's Office recalled that the government had sent the first version of the "white paper" on March 8.

"The comparisons used in the White Paper were presented as an overview and proof that there are a number of possible models within European rule-of-law standards - and that the Polish model does not deviate from those standards," the PM's Office said.

"Poland never claimed that any EU member state violates the standards in any way. On the contrary: in the government's view, the regulations used by those countries fully safeguard the rule of law, just as is the case in Poland," the statement reads.

"In Poland's opinion, these differences (in legal systems across the EU - PAP) show that the European Union permits very different legal models within its common values. As long as the guarantees of judicial independence are maintained - and in Poland they are among the strongest in the EU - the rule of law is not endangered," the statement goes on.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, launched its rule-of-law procedure against Poland in 2016 and recently triggered the Article 7 procedure of the EU Treaty which may ultimately end in sanctions against Warsaw, but all of the EU member states would have to agree to the penalty.