EU, Poland seek to tone down rule of law dispute

Leaders of the European Union and Poland are seeking to play down a dispute over changes to key Polish laws that are currently being vetted by the EU's executive office to see if they meet the bloc's demands.

EU Council President Donald Tusk and Polish President Andrzej Duda said Monday the bile from politicians on both sides overshadows the deep cooperation between the EU and Poland and is poisoning the debate about the constitutional court and media legislation.

Tusk said commentators and politicians should refrain from "hysterical behavior" and insisted that "the interests of Poland and the EU are basically the same."

Duda insisted "nothing exceptional is happening in Poland" and called for calm debate.

On Tuesday, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo will address the European Parliament.