KATOWICE, Poland (Reuters) – Poland’s foreign minister praised the “non-confrontational” style of the EU’s nominee to head the next European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and signalled that he looked forward to improved ties between Warsaw and Brussels on her watch.
The executive Commission has long accused Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) of flouting EU standards on the rule of law and democracy. But Poland’s biggest critic in Brussels, Dutch Socialist Frans Timmermans, lost to von der Leyen in the race for the top Commission job, causing huge relief in Warsaw.
Foreign - Minister - Jacek - Czaputowicz - Government
Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said he believed his government would work well with von der Leyen, who is from the centre-right and currently defence minister in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition.
“She (von der Leyen) is conciliatory, non-confrontational, accepting of many points of view. She has this sensitivity, something that in Poland is well-liked…,” Czaputowicz told Reuters in an interview authorised for release on Tuesday.
Poland - Relations - Germany - Years - PiS
Poland’s relations with Germany have been particularly strained in recent years, with PiS reviving calls for World War Two reparations. Berlin says all financial claims linked to the brutal Nazi occupation of Poland have been settled.
Czaputowicz said he was confident that Brussels would drop its legal procedure against Poland under Article 7 of the EU treaty due to a lack of support among other member states.
Procedure - Poland - Voting - Rights - Council
The procedure could theoretically lead to Poland losing its voting rights in the European Council but its ally Hungary – also at loggerheads with Brussels over the rule of law – has made clear it would veto any such move against Warsaw.
“I believe this conflict (over the rule of law in Poland) has been won by us,” he said, though he also acknowledged that further hearings under the procedure are likely to take place.
“I’ve spoken with ministers...
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