WARSAW (Reuters) – A leading member of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party signalled on Wednesday it was ready to give some ground to end a constitutional standoff with the EU, including possibly accepting some judges appointed by the last administration.
The EU Commission launched an inquiry in January after the right-wing government changed how the constitutional court operates, in a way critics said undermined the tribunal’s ability to challenge laws and rulings.
On Tuesday, European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans spoke to Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydlo and gave Poland more time to resolve the issue internally. Szydlo said a compromise was in sight, but gave no details.
“It is not about concessions in this process, it is not about EC’s concessions, but it is all about solutions which will meet all sides’ expectations,” Poland’s deputy foreign minister, Konrad Szymanski, told private broadcaster TVN24 on Wednesday.
“No aspect of this solution should be treated separately. Some form of introducing these judges is possible, I don’t know if all of them, I don’t know in what order – it depends on other aspects of the accord,” he said.
Poland’s president, an ally of the eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) party, refused in December to swear in three judges who were chosen by previous administration an instead appointed three new ones, picked by the ruling party.
Since coming to power in October, the right-wing PiS has also strengthened its grip on the secret services and state media, increased the number of constitutional court judges required to make rulings and changed the order in which cases are heard.
This caused massive street protests in Poland, though opinion polls show support for PiS is actually rising. On Monday Poland’s zloty currency fell to a three-month low, with traders blaming the constitutional row.
Read more about Poland’s new government and the campaigns against it at Breitbart London