Poland’s cabinet reshuffle could help soothe EU rupture

Poland’s cabinet reshuffle could help soothe EU rupture

Poland’s new PM will announce a cabinet reshuffle at 1100 GMT today. The move comes exactly two months after the

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki

Photo: Reuters

Poland’s new PM will announce a cabinet reshuffle at 1100 GMT today. The move comes exactly two months after the right-wing PiS government replaced PM Beata Szydlo with then-Finance Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Less than two years away from an election, Poland’s ultra-conservative government enjoys record support among voters, despite controversial reforms that challenge judicial independence and media plurality.

Brussels has reacted angrily to these measures, which it says threatens the rule of law in Poland. Last month, the European Commission began infringement proceedings under Article 7 of the EU Treaty to suspend Poland’s voting right in European decision-making bodies.

Interestingly, Mr Morawiecki will travel directly to Brussels for talks with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker following today’s announcement.

Indeed, some changes may well help freeze the unfolding dispute. Current Environment Minister Jan Szyszko has clashed with Brussels over an increase in logging of the protected Bialowieza forest, sparking legal action by the bloc. His replacement with a more EU-friendly minister would build confidence ahead of important negotiations over Poland’s future in the EU.