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EU's von der Leyen, Belgian PM visit Warsaw

23.02.2024 08:00
European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo are expected to hold talks with Polish leaders during a visit to Warsaw on Friday.
Ursula von der Leyen
Ursula von der LeyenEPA/JULIEN WARNAND

While in the Polish capital, von der Leyen and De Croo will meet with Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk, European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer has said.

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen meet in Brussels on Dec. 15, 2023. Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen meet in Brussels on Dec. 15, 2023. Photo: EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

After the talks, the three will hold a joint news conference.

Alexander De Croo Alexander De Croo. Photo: PAP/EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

The visit is expected to focus on the Polish government's efforts to restore the rule of law and end a protracted row with Brussels over judicial changes, according to officials.

Earlier this week, Poland's Justice Minister Adam Bodnar attended a meeting of the EU's General Affairs Council in Brussels, where he laid out a plan to reverse a massive legal overhaul carried out by Poland's previous right-wing government.

Legal changes made by the previous government, led by the Law and Justice (PiS) party, put Poland on a collision course with the European Union and triggered a series of clashes between Warsaw and Brussels.

One of the outcomes was the EU's refusal to release funds to Poland from the bloc's post-pandemic recovery package.

Tusk said on Thursday: "There is every indication that, after years of delay and weeks of extremely intense work, mainly by Minister Bodnar, tomorrow we will hear from representatives of European institutions tomorrow that Poland's recovery funds have finally been unblocked."

While in Warsaw on Friday, Belgium's De Croo will also meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

Polish President Andrzej Duda. Polish President Andrzej Duda. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Friday's talks in Warsaw are also expected to touch on farmers' protests and the EU's continued support of Ukraine as it battles Russia's ongoing invasion, officials have told reporters.

After their visit to Warsaw, von der Leyen and De Croo will travel to Kyiv to mark the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the IAR news agency reported.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, starting the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War II.

Friday is day 730 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP