Polish PM: Poland could become 'keystone' holding US and EU together
W ARSAW â" Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said his country wants to position itself as the âkeystoneâ holding Western countries together as divisions continue to grow between the U.S. and Europe.
âEveryone has probably noticed that the paths of the EU and America have started to split quite seriously and now it depends on us whether we build a position of a keystone, an integrator between these two entities,â Morawiecki told pro-government weekly Gazeta Polska in an interview to be published Monday, excerpts of which were reported by news portal Niezalezna.pl.
Positioning Poland in this way was one of his governmentâs goals and âalso a great opportunity for our country,â he added.
Morawieckiâs comments are the latest sign of Warsawâs attempts to build closer ties with Washington as actions by both the U.S. and Poland continue to put a strain on their relations with Brussels.
It recently emerged that Warsaw proposed to Washi ngton that it could spend up to $2 billion on a permanent U.S. military base â" a move Poland reportedly made without consulting with its NATO allies, raising eyebrows in the allianceâs headquarters in Brussels.
Morawieckiâs interview also follows the G7 summit in Canada over the weekend, after which U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly reversed his support for a joint agreement reached by the participating countries.
Meanwhile, the European Commission says Poland is violating rule of law standards and is pushing to move ahead with disciplinary action against the country. It wants EU leaders to set up a hearing under the Article 7 process, in which Poland would get a chance to defend itself against the Commissionâs charge that its judiciary reforms constitute âa clear risk of a serious breach of the rule of law.â
Separately, the Commission is taking Warsaw to the European Court of Justice over a law on general courts that allowed the prosecutor genera l to nominate and fire court presidents at will.
Before the law was amended in an attempt to compromise with Brussels, Zbigniew Ziobro, the prosecutor general, managed to fire nearly a fifth of Polandâs court presidents and their deputies â" in most cases without an explanation and by just sending a fax. He was nominating replacements in the same way. After the amendment, it is now the president who can do the same.
Polish NGOs, lawyers and journalism organizations have also called on the Commission to bring a case to the European Court of Justice against a new law on the countryâs Supreme Court that â" barring a last-minute intervention by the court â " would force the early retirement of up to 40 percent of Supreme Court judges on July 3.
This could even include the courtâs first president, despite the fact that her constitutionally mandated six-year term is not set to end until 2020.
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