Poland considers dispute with EU over rule of law closed

Poland's FM Witold Waszczykowski speaks during a news briefing with his Ukrainian counterpart Klimkin in Kiev

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland considers its dispute with the European Commission about the country’s rule of law closed, Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said on Tuesday, a day after Warsaw sent a letter to Brussels defending judicial reforms.

Responding to a Commission deadline to implement measures it deemed essential after a series of appointments and reforms appeared to weaken the independence of the country’s judiciary, Poland said all has been done according to European standards.

“I expect that the matter will be closed,” Waszczykowski told the state-run radio Trojka.

The Commission said it had received the Polish response and would study it.

The monitoring procedure the Commission launched more than a year ago could end in Warsaw losing its voting rights in the 28-nation European Union if all other leaders in the bloc agree to that.

“We explained comprehensively what happened in Poland, how the reforms relating to the Constitutional Court have been implemented,” Waszczykowski said, a few days after a heated public spat with the Commission’s number two official over the case.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly; editing by John Stonestreet)