by MICHAEL PEEL and MEHREEN KHAN and JAMES SHOTTER
Poland has attacked a plan to link EU budget payments to countries’ respect for the rule of law as a “massive power grab”, as Warsaw and Brussels remain at loggerheads over governance standards.
Konrad Szymanski, Poland’s EU affairs minister, made Warsaw’s strongest criticism yet of the budget plan floated by Brussels last month to make EU development funding conditional on governments’ compliance with the rule of law. Brussels has denied the conditions are designed to target capitals such as Warsaw, but the plan has been attacked by Poland’s Eurosceptic Law and Justice government.
“The proposed measures linking the rule of law seems to be a massive power grab by the European Commission with too high a discretion in its hands,” Mr Szymanski said at a ministerial meeting in Brussels. “The proposals should be based on solid legal fundamentals without discretionary mechanisms that can be used to exercise political pressure.”
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