Poland rejects EU criticism of court changes

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WARSAW: Poland’s foreign ministry on Monday rejected an EU warning over controversial changes to the country’s constitutional court, moves which Brussels insists pose a serious challenge to the rule of law. The European Commission, the executive arm of the 28-nation European Union, has set the Polish government a late-February deadline to reverse the changes or face sanctions. The PiS administration said on Monday in its formal reply to Brussels that the changes to the court “are in accordance with European standards applying to the functioning of constitutional courts.” It also insisted that the laws on the court adopted by parliament in November and December are “comprehensive and conclusive in regulating the system and functioning of the court” and in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission, a Council of Europe rights watchdog. Warsaw also accused European Commission vice president Frans Timmermans of playing politics. He has been one of the EU’s most vocal voices urging Warsaw to reverse court reforms regarded by critics as unconstitutional.

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AFP

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