Poland’s judicial policy threatens payments from EU budget

Oct 17, 2022, 8:17 PM | Updated: Oct 18, 2022, 9:04 am

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s right-wing government needs to show that it has fulfilled all the democratic requirements before payments of tens of billions of euros from the European Union’s development funds can be made, a senior EU official said Tuesday.

The right-wing government that won power in 2015 has been increasingly defying many EU regulations and also the 27-member bloc’s guiding role in the justice and lawmaking system, as well as in some social life areas.

Vera Jourova, the deputy of the European Commission who is in charge of values and transparency, said that negotiations are still ongoing with Poland on the payments of 75 billion euros ($73 billion) from the cohesion fund.

She said Poland’s new minister for EU ties needs to reassure Brussels that the recalcitrant government is making good on the promises it made this year to meet certain “milestones” and bring its judicial policies into line and guarantee judicial independence.

“We don’t want to see the country of such importance, of such size, the Polish people being left without the EU support,” Jourova said in Brussels.

Amid a drawn-out stalemate with Brussels over the rule-of-law and the judiciary, Warsaw replaced its minister for EU ties last week, appointing deputy foreign minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek to the post.

The 27-member EU is highly critical of the changes that Poland’s government has introduced into the country’s judiciary as it tried to take control of the courts. Brussels has already frozen payment of much-needed billions of euros from its pandemic recovery fund for Poland. Freezing the cohesion funds, which refund infrastructure investments, would only add to Poland’s difficult situation.

Jourova suggested there could be “some bigger political lack of will” in Warsaw, but that she hoped that “the Polish situation will progress well.”

In Poland, opposition figures warn that it would be disastrous for the country if also the cohesion funds were withheld.

Former prime minister and former EU leader, Donald Tusk, has blamed the threat to the disbursements on power infighting between Poland’s main ruling Law and Justice party leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and the justice minister and author of the controversial judicial policies, Zbigniew Ziobro, who leads a small party within the ruling coalition.

“They are at loggerheads and we are all paying for that, and the costs are going into hundreds of billions of euros,” said Tusk, now head of the main opposition Civic Platform party.

Warsaw mayor, Rafal Trzaskowski says the “situation is becoming very serious” and could be prove catastrophic for local governments. Poland could lose funds worth about 530 billion zlotys ($107 billion), or the capital city’s budget for 25 years.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki denied that Poland’s cohesion funds were threatened and insisted Poland has not made any claims for them yet. Seeking to end the stalemate over the pandemic recovery funds, Morawiecki agreed to lift the political control of the judiciary, but the EU says the pledges have not been met yet.

___

This story corrects the spelling of EU official’s last name to Jourova.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Web designer Lorie Smith is shown in her office on Nov. 7, 2022, in the southwest part of Li...
Associated Press

Both sides see high stakes in gay rights Supreme Court case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is being warned about the potentially dire consequences of a case next week involving a Christian graphic artist who objects to designing wedding websites for same-sex couples. Rule for the designer and the justices will expose not only same-sex couples but also Black people, immigrants, Jews, Muslims and others […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Today in History: December 3, gas disaster in Bhopal

Today in History Today is Saturday, Dec. 3, the 337th day of 2022. There are 28 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Dec. 3, 1984, thousands of people died after a cloud of methyl isocyanate gas escaped from a pesticide plant operated by a Union Carbide subsidiary in Bhopal, India. On […]
22 hours ago
arrest...
Associated Press

Police: Washington officer shot, wounded while making arrest

Pasco Police in southeast Washington state said one of their officers was shot and wounded Thursday afternoon while making an arrest.
22 hours ago
State hospital...
Associated Press

7 die from flu in Washington state, activity ‘very high’

Flu activity in the state is now considered very high, according to the Washington State Department of Health.
22 hours ago
Former South Korean National Security Director Suh Hoon, center, arrives at the Seoul Central Distr...
Associated Press

Seoul arrests ex-top security official over border killing

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s former national security director was arrested Saturday over a suspected cover-up surrounding North Korea’s killing of a South Korean fisheries official near the rivals’ sea boundary in 2020. Suh Hoon’s arrest early Saturday came as President Yoon Suk Yeol’s conservative government investigates his liberal predecessor’s handling of that […]
22 hours ago
FILE - John Duarte, a Republican candidate in California's 13th Congressional District, arrives at ...
Associated Press

GOP’s Duarte takes California Central Valley US House seat

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Republican John Duarte defeated Democrat Adam Gray on Friday in a new California U.S. House district in the Central Valley farm belt that produced the closest congressional contest in the state this year. With virtually all of the ballots counted, Duarte has just over 50% of the vote. Gray conceded in […]
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Poland’s judicial policy threatens payments from EU budget