Poland Given Yet Another Warning by EU Over Constitution Standoff

1
701

screenhunter_859-dec-22-08-30

The row between Poland and the European Union has escalated after the EU warned Warsaw that it would remove its voting rights in the EU, if the Polish Government did not roll back controversial changes to its Constitutional Court – a sanction never before exercised in the EU. However, the warning comes two months after the expiration of the time period from the previous warning, in a move criticized by some as showing weakness on the part of the Brussels administration.

Poland is under investigation by both the European Commission and the Council of Europe over controversial changes to the Polish constitution brought in when Beata Szydło’s Law & Order party won the 2015 elections.

In December 2015, the Polish Government added five ‘politically friendly’ judges to the country’s Constitutional Tribunal, in a move seen by critics as making it easier to push through legislation with less opposition. The amendment meant that the tribunal would need a two-thirds majority to take a decision on constitutional matters instead of a simple majority. The minimum number of judges needed to make a decision was also raised from nine to 13, making it more difficult to convene a quorum. However, Chief Justice Andrzej Rzeplinski ruled that many sections of the law passed in December 2015 sparking protests from opposition groups who claimed the government was effectively taking control over the country’s highest legislature. The constitutional court changes — as well as a clampdown on the media — have led to months of street protests throughout Poland.

Despite a series of discussion between Brussels and Poland involving minor amendments to the Constitutional Court changes, the European Commission maintains that Poland is in breach of the fundamental principle of the ‘Rule of Law’ within the EU. In a statement, December 21, the Commission said: “It is enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union. The European Commission, together with the European Parliament and the Council, is responsible under the Treaties for guaranteeing the respect of the rule of law as a fundamental value of our Union and making sure that EU law, values and principles are respected.”

Commission Warnings

The Commission has also said it will not recognize the appointment of the new President of the Constitutional Court — Julia Przylebska, who, with her husband, is seen as being close to the Polish President Andrzej Duda — who replaced Rzeplinski, whose term ended December 19. The Commission had already issued a similar warning, July 27, 2016, giving Poland three months to conform to the EU rule of law.

That expired at the end of October. The second warning, expires at the end of February 2017. If Poland fails to respond, it will face sanctions  for the first time in the EU, under Article 7 of the Treaties of Europe, which include the loss of its voting rights within the institutions. However, the Commission’s actions have been described as weak. The former Belgian Prime Minister, leader of the Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament and potential parliamentary president Guy Verhoftsadt tweeted: … 20

Author Details
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a disabled veteran and has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.

Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.

Gordon’s Archives – 2008-2014
ATTENTION READERS
Due to the nature of independent content, VT cannot guarantee content validity.
We ask you to Read Our Content Policy so a clear comprehension of VT's independent non-censored media is understood and given its proper place in the world of news, opinion and media.

All content is owned by author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images within are full responsibility of author and NOT VT.

About VT - Read Full Policy Notice - Comment Policy

Comments are closed.