EU announces disciplinary measures against Poland for breach of law

BRUSSELS– The EU said Wednesday that there was a clear risk of a serious breach of the rule of law in Poland and announced disciplinary measures know as Article 7.1 of the EU treaty.

“Sadly our concerns are deepened, within a period of two years, a significant number of laws have been adopted, 13 in total, which put at serious risk the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers in Poland ,” European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, told a news conference. “It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to initiate the article 7.1. But the facts give us no choice,” he said adding Poland has three months to address the concerns.

Article 7.1 is a sanction procedure that could lead to the suspension of Poland’s voting rights at EU summits.

Judicial reforms in Poland mean that the country’s judiciary is now under the political control of the ruling majority, noted Timmermans.

On its part, Amnesty International welcomed the move. Iverna McGowan Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office said in a press statement “The Polish government is finally seeing the consequences of their reckless drive to destroy freedoms in the country. The European Commission’s historic decision to trigger Article 7.1 sends a clear message to the Polish authorities – trampling on people’s rights will not be tolerated.”

Source: Kuwait News Agency