EU's Timmermans to meet Polish PM on governance on Tuesday

Reuters News
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Posted: May 24, 2016 2:57 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The deputy head of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, will meet Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo on Tuesday to discuss government moves on the judiciary that have raised EU concerns about the rule of law.

First Vice President Timmermans tweeted that he was flying to Poland to meet Szydlo in the afternoon.

Following the election of the eurosceptic, right-wing Law and Justice party, PiS, late last year, the EU executive expressed concerns that changes it has made to Poland's constitutional court may have undermined the judges' independence and so infringed the Union's democratic standards.

The Commission launched an inquiry into the government's actions and last week it gave Warsaw until Monday, May 23, to offer modifications, failing which it would deliver a formal note of criticism that could ultimately lead to penalties.

Timmermans has been delegated by the Commission to handle the issue and the decision whether to deliver the letter.

EU officials said on Monday that discussions with Poland were continuing. Szydlo said last week she would "not yield to any ultimatum" from Brussels.

(Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; editing by Ralph Boulton)