Infighting has hit the European Commission over the handling of Polish rule-of-law breaches ahead of a closed-door meeting, sources within the body have told Brussels Signal. (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)


LEAK: Infighting over Poland hits EC ahead of crucial closed-door meeting


The European Commission has become mired in discord ahead of a crucial closed-door meeting on February 27, sources within the body have told Brussels Signal.

At the centre of the conflict appears to be the Cabinet of Europe’s Internal Market Commissioner, Thierry Breton.

The Frenchman’s officials are reportedly expressing dissatisfaction regarding how his fellow Eurocrats have been dealing with issues regarding apparent rule-of-law breaches in Poland in the wake of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen vowing last week to see funds for the country unfrozen.

According to one source, Values Commissioner Věra Jourová is due to present today’s private meeting of the College of Commissioners with a so-called “line to take” document detailing the current state of play regarding Poland’s Rule of Law violations.

Jourová is set to tell the College with the document that good progress is being made on the issue, although potential problems still allegedly remain regarding some of the judges appointed by the previous government.

While the spin surrounding the issue from Jourová is positive, Breton’s office — which has reportedly seen the document — is said to be concerned regarding what is seen as its lack of depth.

This complaint has apparently been rejected by the EC’s Secretariat-General, which is said to have defended the official paper as containing sufficient information for the “any other business” part of the February 27 meeting, at which it is due to be presented.

Breton’s Head of Cabinet Valère Moutarlier is said to be unconvinced by that argument. He reportedly complained at a meeting on February 26 that Breton requires more specific information on what is being seen as a politically highly sensitive issue.

Moutarlier is also said to have also made broader criticisms regarding how Breton’s colleagues have handled the issue; Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders is reportedly under fire for his work regarding the rule-of-law concerns.

Some have viewed the Breton Cabinet’s complaints as being a veiled swipe at von der Leyen over her decision to announce that the College would work to “unblock” the relevant funds this week.

“These decisions will free up to €137 billion for Poland,” she said on February 23.

Brussels Signal has approached the Breton Cabinet for comment.