The Commission made the recommendation in its third annual Rule of Law Report, published on Wednesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
Brussels urged Poland to “separate the function of the Minister of Justice from that of the Prosecutor-General and ensure functional independence of the prosecution service from the Government.”
'Serious concerns' about Polish judiciary
In the chapter on Poland, the Commission expressed “serious concerns” over the independence of the Polish judiciary, adding that the Polish Constitutional Tribunal “issued further rulings directly challenging the primacy of EU law, the provisions of the EU Treaties and the European Convention on Human Rights.”
The Commission further stated: “In addition to recalling the need to address the serious concerns relating to judicial independence … as well as the obligation to comply with the rule of law related rulings of the ECJ and … the commitments made under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan relating to certain aspects of the justice system … it is recommended to Poland to separate the function of the Minister of Justice from that of the Prosecutor-General and ensure functional independence of the prosecution service from the Government,” among other recommendations.
‘This is not about the rule of law’
Zbigniew Ziobro on Wednesday criticised the Commission’s recommendation, telling reporters that “this is not about the rule of law.”
He added: “This is not about courts or the prosecution service. This is about power. About overthrowing Poland’s democratically elected authorities.”
He went on to say: “This is about paving the way for [opposition leader] Donald Tusk and his people. Tusk and his people mean a policy of full concessions towards the European Commission in every respect.”
Ziobro argued that when Poland was entering the EU in 2004, the roles of justice minister and prosecutor-general were combined and Brussels “didn’t object" at the time.
“This fact best demonstrates the political nature of today’s recommendations,” Ziobro told reporters.
Source: PAP, ec.europa.eu