May 11, 2018 / 1:18 PM / a year ago

Poland: Down to EU to come to agreement over contested court reforms

LONDON, May 11 (Reuters) - Poland has tabled a compromise over a contested reform to its juridical system and it is now down to political will in Brussels to come to an agreement, the country’s top foreign policy adviser Krzysztof Szczerski said on Friday.

At the heart of the issue is an overhaul of courts that gives the Law and Justice party (PiS) controlled parliament de facto control over the selection of judges and ends the term of some Supreme Court judges early.

Poland’s right-wing government and the European Commission have been at loggerheads for more than two years over the judicial overhaul, which the EU executive says harms democracy.

Asked if Warsaw would be happy to make any further concessions, Szczerski said “the compromise is on the table.”

“Now it is only a question of political will (in Brussels). If political will joins substance, then things can happen - we have done our work on the substance,” he said, speaking at a briefing at think-tank Chatham House.

EU and Polish officials have previously signalled that a potential compromise should be agreed before EU ministers are due to discuss the matter at a May 14 meeting.

Reporting by Ritvik Carvalho, writing by Karin Strohecker; editing by Sujata Rao

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