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Poland summons Belgian ambassador in rule-of-law row

29.10.2021 21:30
The Polish foreign ministry on Friday summoned Belgium's ambassador to voice "disapproval and outrage" after that country's prime minister slammed Warsaw in a row with the EU over the rule of law, news agencies reported.
Polands Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Warsaw.
Poland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Warsaw.Photo: gov.pl

"Following the address delivered by Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium Alexander De Croo during the inauguration of the academic year at the College of Europe in Bruges on 27 October, Secretary of State Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk summoned Belgian Ambassador Luc Jacobs to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," the Polish foreign ministry said in a statement in English.

It added that Szynkowski vel Sęk "expressed his disapproval and outrage" over the Belgian prime minister's remarks about his Polish counterpart’s "comments concerning the rule of law dispute between Poland and the European Commission."

Szynkowski vel Sęk "emphasised that such public comments are not helpful in fostering a good atmosphere for Polish-Belgian relations," according to the statement.

Belgium's De Croo said in a speech on Wednesday: "You are playing a dangerous game, you are playing with fire when waging war with your European colleagues for internal political reasons," according to a transcript cited by the Reuters news agency.

He was referring to comments made by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in an interview with the Financial Times, in which Morawiecki accused the European Union of making demands with a "gun to our head," while also vowing to defend Warsaw’s position if the EU starts a "third world war" by withholding funds in a dispute over judicial changes.

Morawiecki also said in the interview that Poland would use any means at its disposal to defend its rights.

Amid a dispute over access to the bloc's post-pandemic recovery funds, Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller said on Wednesday that his country was considering using its veto power in the European Council to block some EU initiatives it opposed.

Müller on Thursday accused the EU of "blackmail" after the bloc's top court imposed a EUR 1 million daily fine on Warsaw for maintaining a disciplinary chamber for judges, a key pillar of its disputed judicial reforms.

The bloc's chief executive, Ursula von der Leyen, said on Thursday that Poland must undo its new disciplinary system for judges to unlock access to billions of euros of COVID-19 recovery funds from EU coffers.


Source: PAPgov.pl, Reuters