Polish PM complains about slow pace of justice reforms

Mateusz Marek/PAP

Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, has expressed disappointment with the Justice Ministry's inability to carry out efficient key reforms of the justice system.

In an interview with the Catholic weekly Gosc Niedzielny, published on Thursday, Morawiecki named a number of "urgent reforms" that Poles have been waiting for for years that have failed to take place.

They include the digitalisation of the justice system, speeding up of court procedures and restoring trust in justice institutions.

"These are the reforms that Poles expect, and I expect the Justice Ministry to implement solutions that would enable them," the prime minister said.

The justice minister, Zbigniew Ziobro, is the leader of Solidary Poland, a small Eurosceptic ally of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

Ziobro has been in apparent conflict with Morawiecki over the government's EU policy and has criticised what he calls "concessions" towards Brussels in order to secure tens of billions of euros in the EU's post-pandemic recovery funds for Poland.

Ziobro has also said Poland is giving up its sovereignty by agreeing to shut down a contested disciplinary panel for judges at the Supreme Court, one of the EU's conditions for the funds' release.

But Morawiecki rebutted the claim.

"First of all, we'd lose sovereignty if Russia seriously threatened us with aggression," Morawiecki said. "And secondly, if the economy was derailed in an economic crisis. And thirdly, if the total opposition, which bows to foreign countries, took power."

Morawiecki said he understood the concerns of Eurosceptics in his government, but he called himself "a Eurorealist."