There is disagreement within the European Commission, over the punitive Article 7 procedure against Warsaw, according to Ryszard Czarnecki, an MEP for Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party.
Czarnecki, a former vice-president of the European Parliament, told public broadcaster Polish Radio on June 7 that the difference of opinion saw the Commission’s First Vice-President Frans Timmermans pitted against the Commission’s head Jean-Claude Juncker and Secretary-General Martin Selmayr, a German linked to Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Juncker and Selmayr want to end a protracted dispute with Poland as soon as possible, while Timmermans wants the procedure to go on, according to Czarnecki.
Timmermans in mid-May said the EU executive would not withdraw its Article 7 disciplinary mechanism against Poland at this stage.
In December, the Commission took the unprecedented step of triggering Article 7 of the EU Treaty against Poland, stepping up pressure on Warsaw over controversial changes to the justice system by the country’s ruling conservatives.
As reported by Radio Poland, the Polish government has since moved to modify the disputed legal changes. And Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz met Timmermans in Brussels last month to brief him on planned new amendments to disputed laws regulating the work of the country’s court system, according to reports.
Poland’s lawmakers have since approved adjustments to regulations governing assistant judges and also voted to limit a contested procedure that allows “extraordinary appeals” for reopening closed court cases.