European Parliament backs Commission on Poland's rule of law

On 1 March the European Parliament voted for a non-binding resolution to enforce the European Commission’s December 2017 decision to trigger Article 7 of the EU Treaty against Poland. The resolution drummed up 422 votes in favour and 147 against, showing the MEPs’ strong concerns regarding the threat to the rule of law in Poland.

The resolution aims to push EU members in determining whether Poland is undermining EU law. This puts additional pressure on Poland to reverse the reforms of its judiciary and state media, introduced by the nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS) after assuming power in late 2015. PiS stressed that the reforms were necessary due to the inefficiencies of the courts caused by corruption, which they attribute to communist regime figures entrenched in the judiciary. PiS does not intend to confront the EU, proven by Premier Mateusz Morawiecki's recent efforts to establish constructive dialogue with the Commission. The threat to trigger Article 7.1, the first of three steps that would deprive Poland of its voting right, is still present although unlikely as this process requires unanimity within the Council and Hungary would most likely veto the motion. Member states are also considering cutting funds to Poland under the next EU budget.

About author: Martin Macq

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