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    Head of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski (File)

    EU Spokesman Slams Polish Minister Over Row With EU Commission Vice President

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    Recent statements by Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski show that the official has problems understanding the European Commission's role and its capabilities, the Commission's spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) During the GLOBSEC 2017 Forum in Bratislava on May 26-28, Waszczykowski reportedly said that Poland did not have problems with the European Commission, but rather had problems with First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans. The top diplomat said that Warsaw considered Timmermans' statements against the Polish government's judicial reforms as a "personal crusade."

    "We have seen the reports on the Polish foreign minister's comments on first vice-president Timmermans and the role of the Commission. We regret that a government minister does not understand the Commission's role, structure and competences," Schinas said.

    The spokesman added that the Commission would be grateful to officials from all governments if they took into account that the EU institution was responsible for protecting treaties, the rule of law, as well as the common interests of the EU member states.

    Polish authorities and the European Commission have been engaged in a dispute over Warsaw's alleged violation of European standards since 2015, when the Polish government adopted a number of controversial laws on police, media and the courts, including one that might influence the independence of the Constitutional Tribunal Judges.

    Timmermans, on behalf of the European Commission, has made a number of statements about Warsaw's adherence to the EU legislation and to the rule of law.

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