Poland and EU officials see improvement in ties

WARSAW: Poland’s foreign minister and a top European Union official praised their meeting Thursday as helpful in easing an unprecedented dispute over some of Poland’s domestic policies. Minister Jacek Czaputowicz hosted EU Commissioner Frans Timmermans for lunch at the Polish mission in Brussels to discuss Poland’s shake-up of the judiciary, which has led the EU to trigger a sanctioning procedure for the first time.

It could strip Warsaw of its EU voting rights, a move that both sides are trying to avoid. Czaputowicz told Polish reporters after the meeting that no “dramatic event” or vote on Poland should be expected in the near future. He said the meeting showed a “lowering of the temperature of the dispute.”

Timmermans said he hoped a solution can be found within “weeks or months.” “The atmosphere was very good,” Timmermans said. “We can find solutions through dialogue, even if we disagree.” Poland is working on a “white paper” document explaining the judicial reforms and will respond by the March 20 deadline to reservations and recommendations of the European Commission.

Czaputowicz was appointed last month in a government reshuffle that was intended to provide a change of tone in the intensifying standoff. Following the meeting he did not exclude a possibility of “modifications” in the judiciary changes if Poland’s authorities deem EU reservations justified.

On Czaputowicz’s invitation, Timmermans may come to Warsaw in March for more talks.

Categories: Europe

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