EU would use rule of law mechanism against Poland: dep FM

The consent to link the EU budget and reconstruction fund with the rule of law mechanism would lead to the immediate use of this mechanism against Poland and Hungary, Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński told the BBC on Thursday.

He was a guest on the BBC HARDtalk programme and stressed that Poland wanted both the long-term EU budget and the pandemic recovery fund to be adopted and that it should happen as soon as possible, however, it is also necessary to ensure that the rights enshrined in European treaties are properly protected - and there are conditions that Poland cannot accept.

Mr Jabłoński said that the conditions for launching sanctions are so vague that the EC can start the procedure against any member state simply by declaring a potential risk, which “can mean anything”.

He admitted that EU funds are important for Poland, as for other Member States, but he did not agree with the suggestion that by blocking the budget and the aid fund, Poland deprives itself of them, because, as he explained, by accepting the rule of law mechanism as it stands, the money “would not be granted anyway”.

Pointing to the cases of arbitrary treatment of what is in line with the rule of law, and what is its violation in the EU, Mr Jabłoński recalled the process of appointing judges in Poland is similar to that in force in Spain and is much less politicised than in France or Germany, where politicians may even dismiss judges. He stressed that only Poland is accused of breaking the rule of law.

In the opinion of Paweł Jabłoński, the irreconcilable stance of some countries was due to their opposition to the increased EU spending prior to the negotiations and that they were using the situation to block it.

When asked if Poland's opposition to the rule of law mechanism, as well as issues, such as demonstrations supporting LGBT people and manifestations against the ruling of the Constitutional Court on abortion, harm the country’s reputation, Mr Jabłoński stated that if there was a choice between a good reputation and defense of the country's interest, the latter must always been chosen.