Ruling conservatives to consult over new judiciary bill with president
The United Right plans to hold consultations on the amended Supreme Court bill within the ruling camp and with the president in the coming weeks, Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, has said.
The bill which the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party hopes will meet the EU's expectations and help unlock Poland’s access to billions of euros in EU funding was scheduled to have its first reading in the Sejm, the lower house of Polish parliament, on Thursday. But it was later removed from the agenda after Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, said he had no role in drafting it.
Duda added that he will check whether the new regulations that are required by Brussels to ensure judicial independence are in line with Poland's constitution.
"I think that the next two or three weeks will be well spent. We will be able to consult the arrangements that Mr. Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk (Poland's European minister - PAP) has made with the European Commission in more detail," Morawiecki told reporters in Brussels.
He added that the bill must be consulted "both within the political camp... and in particular, of course, at the request of the president."
"Naturally, I will talk to the president. The president has the full right to be informed at every stage of the legislative work, arrangements and negotiations," Morawiecki said.
The Polish government has stepped up work on changes to the country's justice system after months of struggle between Warsaw and Brussels failed to ensure the release of funds from the EU's pandemic recovery funding.
Brussels has frozen Polish access to the funding because it feels Warsaw has failed to meet certain conditions, known as milestones, that will, it says, uphold the rule of law.
The current Supreme Court law was originally drafted by the President's Office and was meant to dispel the European Commission's concerns, but final amendments introduced by PiS, produced a stalemate between the EU and Poland.