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Top official outlines EU stance on Poland's jailed ex-ministers

17.01.2024 15:30
Poland's president has raised the case of the country's two jailed ex-ministers with the European Union commissioner for Values and Transparency, who said that Brussels deals  with "systemic changes only," and does not assess the constitutionality of individual cases in member countries, Polish Radio has learned.
Vra Jourov.
Věra Jourová.European Parliament from EU, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Polish President Andrzej Duda and the EU's Commissioner for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová met on the sidelines of the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.

During the meeting, Poland's head of state mentioned the case of two MPs with the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, which ruled the country between 2015 and 2023, Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik, the polskieradio24.pl website reported. 

The two were jailed earlier this month after being sentenced to two years in prison for abuse of power while in charge of Poland's anti-corruption service CBA, during Law and Justice's previous spell in power in 2007.

The president said the two ex-ministers were "political prisoners."

Jourová's response was that Brussels "addresses systemic changes, not individual cases" in member countries, polskieradio24.pl website reported.

Jourová, who is the vice-president of the EU's executive Commission for Values and Transparency, added that the bloc hadn't responded to individual cases in other member states, such as Romania, Slovakia or Malta, either. 

The Commission assesses compliance of national policies with EU treaties, and does not have the powers to assess whether decisions at national level are in line with a given country's constitution, officials in Brussels also told Polish Radio.

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk said last week that Kamiński and Wąsik had been convicted of abuse of power and so lost their MPs' mandates and had to be taken to prison, in line with the law.

Source: polskieradio24.plprezydent.pl