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EC recommendations aim to overthrow Polish govt: Justice Minister

On Wednesday, the European Commission demanded separation of roles of the justice minister and the prosecutor general, with the intent of improving citizens’ access to policy-making and moreover ensuring fair process in deciding on media broadcasting licences. Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro commented that the European Commission’s recommendations about the judiciary are politically motivated.

At the press conference Ziobro, who is also the prosecutor general and man behind the overhaul of the Polish courts, said: “It is about power, it is about overthrowing a government that has a democratic mandate in Poland.”

The Justice Minister believes that the European Commission is seeking to increase pressure and influence over the Polish judiciary system.

“We should not have agreed to the conditionality of the payouts. We should have defended Poland’s sovereignty, but not the European Commission is going to use the Polish government’s good will to blackmail and force more changes,” Ziobro said.

He pointed out that the directives do not pertain either to the independence of Polish courts nor to rule of law, however are aimed at taking over power in Poland.

“Polish government, despite concessions it made to the European Union, is still a problem and does not want to make concessions as deep and fast as officials in Brussels demand,” Ziobro said.

He also added that when Poland was joining the European Union, the justice minister was the Prosecutor General at that time and the European Commission had no reservations about that back then.

“It is clear that the demands are politically motivated. Later, they will come with LGBT issues or issues related to raising children, and economic conditions which would make the Polish lives more expensive and difficult. It is a game which is pictured with beautiful slogans and values,” Minister Ziobro concluded.

In turn, European Commissioner Věra Jourová stated that the recently approved Polish regulations which disband the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court, did not guarantee Polish judges being disciplined for their political beliefs or decisions.

The European Commission is withholding Poland’s access to EUR 36 billion stimulus funds intended for helping lift economies after the COVID crisis. Payouts for 25 EU countries have been already approved. Yet Poland has not received any money since the Commission vows to refrain from making the bank transfer until the Polish judiciary is fixed according to their liking.

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