Wednesday

15th Aug 2018

Commission adopts Polish rule of law report

  • Frans Timmermans still believes in dialogue, but talks have yet to yield results. (Photo: European Commission)

The European Commission has adopted an opinion concerning the rule of law in Poland, the latest step in a procedure launched in January over constitutional reforms.

The text was endorsed by the college of commissioners during their weekly meeting on Wednesday (1 June), but has not been made public.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"Despite our best efforts, it has not been possible to find solutions to the issues at stake," said commission vice president Frans Timmermans, who is leading negotiations with the Polish government.

Poland’s government must reply to the commission’s concerns within ”reasonable time”. If they do not, or if they fail to answer the questions raised, the commission can issue recommendations - marking the second of three steps in the rule of law procedure.

Timmermans noted that rule of law must function, both because member states committed to uphold EU values at the time of their accession but also to enact the application of EU laws across the EU.

”The commission is acting for the sake of European citizens and companies,” he told journalists.

The commissioner has travelled to Poland on two occasions, and he has met prime minister Beata Szydlo. More than four months of talks have not yielded results.

Poland’s government has not overturned its reform of the constitutional court, which the court itself said was unconstitutional.

President Andrzej Duda has not sworn three judge-designates that were supposed to take up their jobs last December.

”I still see us in a process of dialogue,” Timmermans said.

”We haven’t reached a stage where the matter is closed but I hope we can get there very quickly. The sooner we solve this issue, the sooner Poland can take its full role as a leader member of the EU in very trying times for all of us.

"Poland is needed in the EU and should not be distracted by things I think can be solved internally in a relatively short period of time."

Analysis

EU still shy of 'nuclear option' on values

The EU commission has moved forward with its rule-of-law probe on Poland, but critics say that a better framework is needed to uphold values.

Poland vows solution to judicial crisis

Polish PM Szydlo and EU commissioner Timmermans appeared to mend fences in Warsaw. But neither would say how Poland will address concerns.

Poland questions legality of EU probe

On eve of potentially damning EU decision, Polish strongman Jaroslaw Kaczynski has said EU rule of law monitoring could be challenged in Luxembourg court.

Analysis

What is KOD, the Polish pro-democracy movement?

Thousands of Poles will celebrate 27 years of freedom on Saturday by joining protests organised by KOD, the Committee for the Defence of Democracy, which wants to oust Kaczynski from power.

News in Brief

  1. Salvini questions EU 'constraints' after bridge collapse
  2. Bosnian Serbs to rewrite 1995 Srebrenica genocide report
  3. Malta to allow Aquarius migrants to disembark
  4. Juncker sends condolences over Genoa bridge collapse
  5. EU pledges €500,000 more for Indonesian earthquake island
  6. EU commission in talks with states on new Aquarius migrants
  7. Man held after car crashes into UK parliament security barrier
  8. Brexit delays better readability of medicines' instructions

Opinion

While Poles defend courts, Kaczynski hijacks EU elections

While Twitter and EU bubble publications are flooded with photos of protesting crowds and "chains of light" in front of the presidential palace, the Law and Justice-controlled senate has adopted a law restructuring the electoral code for 2019's European elections.

EU Commission skirts Italy sanctions on Roma evictions

The European Commission, as guardian of the treaties, declines to sanction Italy's treatment of the Roma following a forced eviction on Thursday of some 300 from a camp in the outskirts of the Italian capital.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  2. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  3. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  4. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  5. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  6. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  8. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  12. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma

Latest News

  1. US trial sheds light on murky Cyprus-Russia links
  2. Burned cars fuel Swedish election debate
  3. EU court to hear citizens' climate case against EU
  4. How long can Bulgaria keep facing both East and West?
  5. EU commission steps up legal case against Poland
  6. Separation of powers instead of 'Spitzenkandidat' process
  7. Revealed: ExxonMobil's private dinner with Cyprus' top EU brass
  8. What Salvini teaches us about Operation Sophia

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us