April 30, 2018
Poland says it will oppose a European Union proposal to cut funding to countries where the rule of law is deemed under threat, calling it unfair political pressure that would hurt Poland while letting other countries off the hook for different problems.
Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz spoke to The Associated Press two days before the European Commission announces tough new rules for the bloc’s 2021-2027 budget. Last week, Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said the plan would include a “rule of law mechanism” that would link funding to observing democratic principles.
“We see this as an intention to exert pressure on some states, as political pressure before talks,” Czaputowicz said. “For this reason, we have a very negative opinion about these ideas.”
Poland, a nation of some 38 million, is the largest recipient of EU funds. Its economy has boomed for years, partly thanks to the infusion of billions of euros from Brussels that have helped upgrade Polish infrastructure and develop its poorest regions. According to the World Bank, Poland’s economy is on pace to grow 4.2 percent this year.
A letter addressed to the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers successfully raised awareness about the Polish Parliament’s worrying reforms of the justice system.
Read more about this issue in the 2017 Annual Review: https://tinyurl.com/y7rhftx4
(International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute Facebook 2/5/18)
Tagged: European Union, Poland