December 18, 2018 / 12:30 PM / a month ago

Polish response to ECJ ruling is in the right direction - EU executive

FILE PHOTO: The towers of the European Court of Justice are seen in Luxembourg, January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said it took note of Poland’s response to the verdict by the European Court of Justice that suspends changes Poland’s ruling euro-sceptic parties made to the Supreme Court law, saying the response was in the right direction.

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda signed on Monday a revamped version of the Supreme Court law that complies with EU demands.

But Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva noted that the new law signed by Duda had not yet been published in Poland’s official journal, which meant it was not in force yet.

“The Commission also takes note that the Polish authority’s proposal to amend the supreme court law has now been signed by the President yesterday but we note that the law still has to be published,” Andreeva said.

“We are satisfied that change is happening and going in the right direction. We will now analyse these changes and it is also in this view that first vice President Timmermans will update the college (of commissioners) tomorrow at their weekly meeting,” she told a regular news briefing.

The eurosceptic and nationalist PiS initially pushed through a range of new powers after coming to power in 2015 that rights groups and EU officials said threatened the rule of law and increased the government’s control over Polish courts.

PiS has argued the changes were to improve the efficiency of the courts and rid the country of a residue of Communism.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski and Charlotte Steenackers

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