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A protest against judicial reforms proposed by Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 1, 2017 (AP photo by Alik Keplicz).

The Limits to Any Rapprochement Between Poland and the EU

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

With well over a trillion dollars at stake, the next European Union budget has the potential either to strengthen a detente between Poland and Brussels, or become another issue dividing the bloc’s west and east. Further division would undermine Poland’s new prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, whose supposedly technocratic approach has held out the promise of better ties with the EU.

Last month, Poland’s minister for European affairs, Konrad Szymanski, called EU plans to link the bloc’s central budgetary payments to the rule of law in member states a “massive power grab.” Earlier in May, the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, proposed a much-anticipated, long-term budget for the EU totaling roughly 1.279 trillion euros—or nearly $1.5 trillion—running from 2021 to 2027, which includes plans for a “strengthened link between EU funding and the rule of law.” ...

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