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Poland, European Commission search for compromise over Article 7
Last Updated: 2018-04-10 08:01 | Xinhua
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POLAND-WARSAW-EUROPEAN COMMISSION-TIMMERMANS-VISIT

European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans (L) shakes hands with Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz during a joint press conference in Warsaw, Poland, on April 9, 2018. "The change in the Polish government has also led to a change in the climate of our relations," Timmermans said here on Monday following meeting with Jacek Czaputowicz. (Xinhua/Jaap Arriens)

"The change in the Polish government has also led to a change in the climate of our relations," European Commission (EC) Vice President Frans Timmermans said here on Monday following meeting with Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz.

During a joint press conference, Timmermans emphasized the fact that for a long time, both side didn't pursue dialogue, but exchanged letters instead, while in recent months, an intensive dialogue between Polish side and the EC was carried out.

"Our intention is to find solutions to problems that still exist and (...) it is the Commission's strong will to work with the (Polish) government," Timmermans said. He added that the Commission wanted to make sure that under the Polish judicial reform the rule of independence was preserved, as well as the separation of powers, which was crucial for the whole system.

He also added that the EC observed and was analyzing the actions taken by Sejm, lower house of Polish parliament, in the field of judiciary reform. However, he said the Commission awaited further actions.

Czaputowicz said that both sides sought to find a compromise that would enable the closure of Article 7 usage and transition to the implementation of important tasks and challenges that the European Union was facing.

During his visit to Warsaw, Timmermans held meetings with Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, President Andrzej Duda's chief aide Krzysztof Szczerski, the First President of the Supreme Court, Malgorzata Gersdorf and the President of the Constitutional Tribunal, Julia Przylebska.

The meetings mostly concerned the laws reforming Poland's judiciary system -- changes introduced in Constitutional Law concerning the National Judicial Council (KRS), common courts, the Supreme Court and more.

On Dec. 20 last year, the European Commission took an unprecedented step by triggering Article 7, the first time in its history, and launched an unprecedented censure against Poland over a judicial reform dispute. The EC doubted Poland's laws reforming the Supreme Court and the National Judicial Council might be undermining the EU's rule-of-law principles.

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