EU’s von der Leyen defends OK of criticized Polish Covid-19 aid plans

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen defended on Thursday her controversial move to sign off on Poland’s plan to access billions of euros in Covid-19 relief funding, despite the country’s judicial system violating EU law. “The approval of this plan is linked to clear commitments by Poland on the independence of the judiciary,” von der Leyen said at a joint press conference with the president and the prime minister of Poland in Warsaw. The plan agreed with the commission links disbursements to interim goals, some of them intended to improve the independence of Poland’s judiciary. …

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