Poland accuses the European Union of imposing harsh policies toward the country and calls for changes to the bloc’s functioning after the May elections to the European Parliament. Brussels considers some of Poland’s recent reforms to its judicial system a threat to democracy and rule of law. The conflict is centered around the appointments to Poland’s independent judiciary. The standoff could ultimately lead to cuts in EU subsidies that the bloc’s largest post-communist member is receiving from the common budget.
Poland’s Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz let himself heard that EU institutions were constantly working against the Polish government. He said that while Poland was a “positive example” of a country with no major anti-European forces in its parliament, restrictions being put by EU institutions are meant to “hurt Polish authorities as much as possible”. “The European commonwealth is functioning badly,” Mr. Czaputowicz commented when asked about the EU elections, adding that “the EU can’t conduct actions which don’t have public acceptance.”
Mr. Czaputowicz’s comments came just a few days before Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the chairman of Poland’s ruling party ‘Law and Justice’, met with Italy’s Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini, a member of a populist government that had his own dispute with the EU over his country’s budget. Mr. Salvini is a Eurosceptic leader of the anti-immigration League in Italy. “We have to discuss the issues relating to elections to the European Parliament as well as the state of our relations,” said the minister. Since coming to power in October 2015, the Polish ruling nationalist party ‘Law and Justice’ (PiS) has been increasing its hold of the country. The party has placed cronies in the military, the civil service and state-owned companies on top of politicizing the judiciary system.