Poland's foreign minister demands European Commission leaders step down for failing to preserve unity

Poland's Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski attends a news conference after the meeting of Foreign Ministry officials in Warsaw, Poland, on June 27, 2016.
Poland's Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski attends a news conference after the meeting of Foreign Ministry officials in Warsaw, Poland, on June 27, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's foreign minister demanded on Tuesday (June 28) that the European Union's executive leaders step down because its policy failed to preserve EU's unity given Britain's decision to quit the bloc.

Mr Witold Waszczykowski said also that some prerogatives of the Commission should be transferred to a grouping of member states' heads, known as the European Council, who unlike the Commission possess a democratic mandate.

"We are asking if this... leadership of the European Commission, which only a few months ago called on politicians to... stop listening to their electorates, has... a right to continue functioning, fixing Europe," Mr Waszczykowski said. "In our opinion, it does not.

"New politicians, new commissioners should undertake this task, and first of all we should give new prerogatives to the European Council, because it consists of politicians who have a democratic mandate."

Poland's eurosceptic ruling party (PiS) is at loggerheads with Brussels over issues including its constitutional court, migrant policy, climate policy and logging in ancient forests.

In May, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said some heads of member states were listening exclusively to their electorates and not developing a "common European sense".

"Usually in politics when a political project fails ... and here it is a political project to preserve European unity... then one either has to change the rules of the game or give other politicians a chance to improve this project," Mr Waszczykowski said.

Mr Juncker has also criticised the reluctance of central and eastern European states, who mostly joined the bloc in 2004, to accept migrant quotas proposed by the Commission.