Poland and European Commission to renew dialogue on judicial reform

  • Tomáš Hošek
  • 2.10.2017 08:08

On Monday 25 September, the European Commission's First Vice-President Frans Timmermans welcomed the Polish government’s endeavour to renew the dialogue regarding the controversial reform of Poland's judiciary system. On the same day, Polish President Andrzej Duda unveiled his own proposals of the laws he unexpectedly vetoed in July but withdrew them only hours later.

The key changes in Duda’s proposals concern the appointment of the Supreme Court’s judges, originally intended to fall solely under the Parliament’s competence. This time, it would give the president the final say over the whole process, thus significantly strengthening Duda’s position in the political system. The subsequent withdrawal of the proposals came after the two largest opposition parties refused to support them, making it impossible to receive a two-third parliamentary majority in the Sejm. One of the aims of the EU General Affairs Council meeting on Monday was to assess whether the Commission should trigger unprecedented sanctions in accordance with Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty, which could eventually see Poland temporarily lose its voting rights in the European Council. According to Timmermans, however, there has been broad support among the ministers responsible for European affairs to establish a renewed dialog with the Polish government. Apart from that, Hungary has already announced its willingness to veto the Article’s potential activation.

About author: Tomáš Hošek

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