01-06-16

EU Commission sends Rule of law opinion to the Polish authorities

The Commission stepped up pressure on Poland to fall into line with the EU’s democratic principles

Press conference on the Rule of Law in Poland on June 1

The 28 commissioners agreed during their regular weekly meeting to send an "opinion" to Warsaw, part of a process probing rule of law in Poland that potentially could end with the EU’s sixth-largest member having its voting rights suspended. The Commissions First Vice-President Frans Timmermans explained during a press conference in Brussels that talks with Warsaw have not come close to addressing rule of law concerns. The Polish government has two weeks to respond to the opinion.

Timmermans said: "Since mid-January we have been in an intensive dialogue with the Polish government under the Rule of Law Framework. We launched these talks in a cooperative spirit, to help find solutions; solutions that will have to be found in Poland between the Polish parties concerned. We can offer some advice. However, despite our best efforts, until now we have not been able yet to find solutions to the main issues at stake. The Commission wants to help the Polish authorities to find a solution to the situation, and this is the purpose of the process we are in right now. Our Rule of Law Framework allows the Commission to present its assessment to the Polish authorities in written form, which is what we have decided to do today. …The Polish authorities now have the opportunity to reply and we will continue our dialogue in a structured way based on this exchange."