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EU Parliament: plenary meeting in Brussels starting today. The case of Poland back to Parliament

 

(Brussels) “The European Commission is worried about the independence of the constitutional court and other courts in Poland, following changes in the national legislation. It has been carefully following the situation since November 2015 and has been in contact with the Polish authorities for the last two years. The EU Commission also published four recommendations according to the constitutional framework, which aims at preventing rising threats against the rule of law, but did not receive any satisfactory answer from the Polish government”. This is written in the website of the European Parliament, called on March 1st to vote on a draft resolution, that also deals with the risk of infringement of EU values in Poland. The website (www.europarl.europa.eu) explains, partly with infographics, how the procedure of article 7 of the EU Treaty, invoked by the EU Commission for the case of Poland, works. “The rule of law is a key principle of democratic states, according to which legal power is independent of the other powers, the legislative power and the executive power. Article 2 of the EU Treaty mentions – it goes on – abiding by the rule of law as one of the fundamental values of the European Union. Breaching the fundamental values causes a response within the EU, as explained in article 7 of the Treaty”. Added by the Treaty of Amsterdam, the procedure of article 7 “has never been used before. It works through two mechanisms: one for preventative measures, if there is a clear risk of infringement of the EU values, and one for fines, if the infringement has happened. Fines are not clearly established by the Treaties, but they may include the annulment of voting rights in the European Council and in the EU Council”. In either case, the final decision is taken by the delegates of the member states at the European Council, but the quorum is different, depending on the situation. With Poland, the EU Commission is going on with the preventative mechanism. On its part, the European Parliament must give its go-ahead before the EU Council can decide if there is a clear risk of infringement or not. The same applies if the infringement has happened. “In November 2017, the European Parliament took position on the situation in Poland in a resolution”.

 

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