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Brussels sees no more risk for the rule of law in Poland and is preparing to close the sanctioning file


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Brussels sees no more risk for the rule of law in Poland and is preparing to close the sanctioning file


The European Commission considers that there is no longer "a clear risk of a serious breach" of the rule of law in Poland, which is why it is preparing to deactivate the sanctioning mechanism of Article 7.1 of the EU Treaty, an instrument that provides for the most serious cases. the suspension of the right to vote of the affected country in making decisions to Twenty-seven.

Brussels took the first step to activate the process in December 2017 after two years of unsuccessful dialogue with Warsaw to correct the situation. Community services then acted because they were concerned that reforms to the judicial system would damage the independence of judges and subject the judiciary to government control.

Now, in a note that the vice president of the Community Executive responsible for the Rule of Law and Justice, Vera Jourova, has sent to the Council and Parliament, these institutions are informed that based on a reassessment of the situation, the Commission considers that there is no a serious threat and will therefore withdraw its initial proposal to apply Article 7.1, which will effectively render the procedure null and void.

"Although it is necessary to continue the work, the actions taken so far allow us to conclude that the clear risk of a serious violation of the rule of law no longer exists," Jourova said in a statement defending the community decision.

Specifically, the re-evaluation highlights the Polish 'action plan' by which the Tusk Executive commits to carrying out legislative reforms and other non-legislative measures that protect the independence of the judicial system and strengthen the rule of law in the country. country. Warsaw has also recognized the primacy of Community law and has committed to respecting the rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union, another of the obstacles with the previous government.

After five years in which there was no progress, the now change of Government in Poland with the departure of the ultra-conservative Mateusz Morawiecki and the return of Donald Tusk as prime minister - from the family of the European People's Party and predecessor of Charles Michel at the helm of the European Council-- reduced tension and allowed the first gestures of rapprochement between Brussels and Warsaw, including the first disbursement in April of 6.3 billion from the EU anti-crisis fund.

The adoption of a clear program in the form of the 'action plan' and the fact that Poland has taken the first concrete steps to implement these commitments, together with the recognition that it is necessary to strengthen the rule of law are some of the keys that This same Monday, a spokesperson for Jourova stressed that Brussels' decision is based on an objective analysis that reduces concern and thus denies that it is due to a simple change of Government.

Although the decision to revoke the process of article 7.1 of the EU Treaty rests solely with the European Commission, which will withdraw its proposal to activate it, Brussels has not given a clear date of when it will occur and will wait to discuss the matter with the 27 in the next meeting of Ministers of General Affairs (scheduled for May 21).