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POLAND: Rule of law review
Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz made a 2-day visit to Brussels where he met with his Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders, as well as, Frans Timmermans and Frederica Mogherini. The Foreign Ministers discussed the developing economic cooperation between their two countries. However, most importantly, Czaputowicz expressed interest in Minister Reynders’ concept of an annual review of rule of law in all EU member states, first conveyed in 2016. At first, PM Beata Szydło’s government discarded this concept, but now Czaputowicz argued that this action would not be directed solely at Poland and would reveal potential problems of other states. Minister Czaputowicz has significantly increased Poland’s efforts to restore relations with the EU. A clear statement of interest is a sign that Poland is willing to cooperate. Though the conflicted sides are still far from a satisfactory agreement, a thaw in relations will increase Poland’s maneuverability in the ongoing EU talks on the post-2020 budget and the future of the Union. Poland will want to engage in talks, proving its goodwill before the February 23, Leaders’ Agenda informal meeting of EU heads of state – a format designed to address pressing issues, and resolving political deadlocks.