This week Poland a dismissed requests to implement judiciary reforms deemed essential by the European Commission to uphold the rule of law, raising Warsaw’s risks to be stripped of its voting rights in the 28-member bloc.
The EuropeanCommission offered Warsaw two months period starting from December to implement measures to protect the powers of the Constitutional Court, after a series of appointments and reforms appeared to weaken its independence.
The unprecedented monitoring procedure that the European Commission launched against Poland more than a year ago could end in Warsaw losing its voting rights in the 28-nation European Union in case of a reasoned proposal of one third of the EU members..
The Commission issued a statement on 21 of December 2016, inviting the Polish Government to solve the problems identified in this Rule of Law Recommendation as a matter of urgency, within 2 months, and to inform the Commission of the steps taken to that effect. The Commission delcared to be ready to pursue a constructive dialogue with the Polish Government on the basis of this Recommendation.
If there is no satisfactory follow-up within the set time limit, the Commission has the discretion whether or not to resort to the procedure laid down in Article 7 TEU. Article 7 may also be activated by a reasoned proposal of one third of the Member States, the European Parliament or the European Commission.
The European Commission also recalled that Recommendations adopted under the Rule of Law Framework do not prevent the mechanisms set out in Article 7 TEU being activated directly, should a sudden deterioration in a Member State require a stronger reaction from the EU.