EU politically driven over triggering Article 7: Poland

ANI | Updated: Dec 21, 2017 02:52 IST

London [United Kingdom] December 21 (ANI): Poland has alleged the European Commission (EC) of a politically motivated attack after the latter prompted a process that could witness the country stripped of its voting rights in Brussels.

For the first time, the EC has triggered Article 7 which is regarded as a nuclear option in the EU affairs, against Poland over a judicial reform dispute, saying that there is a clear risk of a stern breach of the rule of law in Poland, reported the Guardian.

The Polish government insists that the measures are required to overhaul the judicial system and battle corruption. Brussels, however, is of the opinion that the reforms threaten rule of law in the country, according to the reports.

The EC has also formally advised the other 27 member states that the legislative programme of Poland's government is putting at risk the fundamental values expected of a democratic state, including judicial independence.

13 laws, adopted over the past several years by Warsaw, have created a situation, where the Polish government "can systematically politically interfere with the composition, powers, the administration and the functioning" of the judicial authorities, according to the commission's Vice-President Frans Timmermans.

"Judicial reforms in Poland mean that the country's judiciary is now under the political control of the ruling majority. In the absence of judicial independence, serious questions are raised about the effective application of EU law," he added.

According to the Guardian, Poland's new prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, in a Twitter Post, stated that, "Poland is as devoted to the rule of law as the rest of the EU."

The Polish foreign ministry said in a statement: "Poland deplores the European commission's launch of the procedure [...] which is essentially political, not legal."

In July, the Polish parliament introduced a set of draft laws to reform the judiciary system. Polish President Andrzej Duda vetoed two of these bills, which concerned the National Council of Judiciary and the Supreme Court, but reintroduced them once amended.

Nevertheless, they were criticized by the EC since they threatened the principle of the separation of powers. (ANI)

iocl