Poland eyes further judicial overhaul to strengthen state

Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki set out last Tuesday government's plans to further deepen the justice system overhaul and strengthen the state's role in the economy, which may put Warsaw on a collision course with the EU, news wires reported. “Neoliberals have fueled a sense of confusion in our value system. Many people were led to believe that the state is a ball and chain,” he said in a policy speech in parliament.

Morawiecki told parliament the governing Law and Justice party (PiS) would continue increasing the share of Polish capital in the ownership of domestic companies and promised more welfare spending. “Extremes are not good. We are building a normal state,” he said without giving details of the steps PiS plans to take in its reforms of the judiciary. The party says further reforms are intended to make the court system more efficient but opponents say the reforms made so far have politicised it.

Since returning to power in 2015, PiS has introduced changes to how courts are run and altered some of the rules governing the Constitutional Tribunal and the Supreme Court. The Commission responded by launching legal action over reforms which it says threaten the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.

Morawiecki also made clear PiS would press on with the vast welfare spending that has helped make it popular. He promised new welfare programmes to help families with at least three children and the elderly. According to the ruling party, the tough economic reforms Poland embraced after the fall of communism had created a free-wheeling form of capitalism that fueled inequality.

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