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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish official says EU rule-of-law report uses 'double standards'

21.07.2021 12:30
A Polish deputy justice minister has accused the European Union of using “double standards” toward its various member states after the bloc’s executive arm published a report critical of Poland.
Polish Deputy Justice Minister Sebastian Kaleta.
Polish Deputy Justice Minister Sebastian Kaleta.Photo: PAP/Andrzej Lange

In a report on the rule of law in EU countries, the European Commission on Tuesday listed serious concerns about Poland’s judicial reforms, news agencies reported.

It said the Polish government’s overhaul of the country’s judicial system since 2015 has increased the influence of the executive and legislative authorities on the judiciary, which Brussels says has undermined its independence.

Sebastian Kaleta said in a comment that the report was "politically motivated" and “showed unequal treatment of individual EU countries.”

The EU executive’s rule-of-law report includes assessments of all member states. It expresses concerns towards Spain about a stalemate over the election of members for its Supreme Judicial Council, Poland’s PAP news agency reported.

Kaleta said: "The European Commission did not order the Spaniards to abandon their system of  appointing judges, which is identical to the Polish one.”

He argued that Brussels "applies double standards in its treatment of various countries."

He also told public broadcaster Polish Radio that "German court rulings in 2009 and 2019 confirmed that the bloc has no competence in organizing the justice systems of individual member states."

An attempt to “enforce any expectations in the form of financial blackmail towards Poland by the European Commission as regards the organization of the judiciary is simply a case of overstepping the powers of the EU's authorities,” Kaleta said.

On Tuesday, The European Commission gave Poland until August 16 to adhere to an EU court ruling on the disciplinary chamber of the country’s Supreme Court, or face a financial penalty.

Last week, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Poland's new disciplinary system for judges is not compatible with EU law.

(mrs/gs)

Source: IAR