Activation of Article 7.1 against Poland tests V4’s cohesion

  • Redakce ESJ
  • 22.12.2017 19:54

The proposal by the European Commission (EC) to activate Article 7.1 of the EU Agreements against Poland due to its judicial reforms from Wednesday 20 December will show whether the Visegrad Four shows its coherence or whether some members take a pro-Union position. Hungary is the only state with a clear position so far and, according to the statements of Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen, it stands behind Poland and expects to potentially use its veto right.

On the contrary, new Czech prime minister Andrej Babis is closer to the Union's stance and called on his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, to continue a constructive dialogue with the EC. The Slovak government has not yet officially announced its position. Morawiecki will negotiate with EC President Jean-Claude Juncker on 9 January and advocate his government’s position on the issue. The European Council will vote on activating Article 7.1, or in other words, whether the Polish reforms really represent a threat to the rule of law, on 29 January, with the consent of four-fifths of member states required for approval. The vote on possible sanctions themselves, including the suspension of Poland's voting right, is only the last step and requires unanimous approval.

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