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Poland: EU is planning formal warning process over breach of values

Europe
15.12.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Brussels (dpa) - Poland is expecting the European Commission to begin a process next week to formally warn the country for being in breach of EU values, newly appointed Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at an EU summit on Thursday.

Launching a process under Article 7 of the EU treaty is unprecedented and comes after criticism of Poland for eroding the rule of law in the country, including by a planned overhaul to the judicial system that would give the government influence over the appointment of judges.

"If this process has started, and from what I understand the decision has been made, then next Wednesday the European Commission intends to launch the article 7.1 procedure," Morawiecki said.

"That is of course their right. From the beginning of what we feel is unfair procedure, until its end, we will definitely speak with our partners about it many times."

A process under Article 7.1 could determine that there‘s "clear risk of a serious breach" by an EU country of the bloc‘s values. Such a determination needs to be approved by four fifths of the bloc‘s 28 countries.

The process also has a second stage, where EU countries can decide by unanimity the "existence of a serious and persistent breach," which could lead to the country in question losing its voting rights in the EU.

It is unlikely that the process could be escalated to the second step because Hungary has signalled it will vote against such a measure.

 

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