President consults new Supreme Court bill with top politicians

Piotr Nowak/PAP

Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, held a series of consultations with top government officials on Friday, a day after he complained he had been brushed aside by the ruling party when it comes to a new Supreme Court bill.

The ruling party, the conservative Law and Justice (PiS), of which Duda is an ally, has prepared an amendment to the Supreme Court law aimed to dispel the European Commission's doubts over the state of the rule of law in Poland and subsequently unlock Poland's access to badly-needed EU post-pandemic recovery funds.

The European Commission has denied Poland access to the funding until it has met certain conditions regarding the rule of law. The amendment aims to do this.

Earlier on Friday, Duda said that he expected consultations on the amended Supreme Court bill to be held later in the day. The president's signature is required for a bill to become law.

On Friday afternoon, the president held meetings with Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, and with a few other officials, including the lower house speaker, the head of the Supreme Administrative Court and the EU affairs minister, according to the head of the President's Office, Pawel Szrot.

Duda said on Thursday that he would check whether the new regulations that are required by Brussels to ensure judicial independence are in line with Poland's constitution. He also warned that he would not allow "for the introduction of any legal act... that would undermine judicial nominations and that would allow for the verification of appointments made by the Polish president."

The current Supreme Court law was originally drafted by the President's Office and was meant to appease the European Commission, but final amendments introduced to it by PiS produced a stalemate between the EU and Poland. 

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