BERLIN – Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki defended on Friday controversial reforms to his country’s judicial system, which have become one of several points of tension between Warsaw and the European Union.
Morawiecki met with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel for a meeting aimed at smoothing over bilateral relations that have become frayed in recent weeks.
Reforms in Poland pushed through parliament by the governing Law and Justice party (PiS) giving the justice ministry power to appoint Supreme Court judges were condemned by its critics as endangering the independence of the judiciary, but at a Berlin press conference, Morawiecki lauded the measures as “better, more objective and more efficient.”
The measures brought Warsaw’s relations with Brussels to a head, and the European Commission began drawing up an article that could restrict Poland’s voting rights in the bloc.
Warsaw further jeopardized its relations with neighboring Germany when at the beginning of February President Andrzej Duda signed into law a bill making it illegal to suggest Poland’s complicity in the Nazi death camps during the Holocaust.
Opponents of that law accused the government of trying to whitewash history.