French President Emmanuel Macron and new Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki held a bilateral meeting on Friday during a EU leaders summit in Brussels.

Mateusz Morawiecki, who took over as Poland’s premier this week, said on Thursday that he expected the European Commission to launch an unprecedented punishment procedure against Warsaw next week after months of wrangling over the rule of law.

Several thousand people gathered in Poland’s largest towns on Thursday evening to protest against a judiciary system overhaul, while the upper chamber of parliament discussed the proposed legislation.

Morawiecki has defended the judicial changes pushed over two years by his predecessor from the same Law and Justice (PiS) party, saying they were necessary to heal the courts.

The PiS is a right wing populist, national conservative and Christian democratic political party located in Poland, that is currently the largest party in the Polish Parliament.

Western European Union peers, the bloc’s executive Commission, opposition at home and democracy advocates say the reforms undermine court independence by putting them under more direct government control. – Reuters