Baltics back Poland in standoff with EU on judiciary reform

On 9 March, at a meeting in Vilnius with their Polish counterpart Mateusz Moraviecki, Prime Ministers of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia affirmed their stance against the possible imposition of EU sanctions under Article 7.2 on Poland for perceived rule-of-law violations

The announcement is a victory for the Polish diplomacy proving that Warsaw is not isolated, and making the enforcement of the Article 7.2 provisions of EU Treaty an ever more remote possibility. This support brings further added value as, unlike the one from Budapest, it comes from loyal pro-EU countries, giving Warsaw more negotiating power. Meanwhile, the Czechs are not expected to support Poland in the case. Previously, Warsaw managed to ensure Romania's support in rejecting EC's funding conditionality designs. These achievements are the results of a less combative, but no less determined approach to defend its reforms, which Poland has assumed with Moraviecki's government swearing-in on 11 December 2017. Since then, Moraviecki mounted a charm offensive that has improved Poland's image by engaging the EC with documentation intended to prove that Poland's justice reform is necessary. Warsaw is expected to come up by 20 March with an official follow-up to EC's recommendations adopted together with the decision to launch the Article 7.1 procedure.

About author: Mihai Turcanu

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