Urgent action needed in rule of law spat with Poland: EC's Timmermans
PR dla Zagranicy
The European Commission’s vice president has said urgent action needs to be taken about Poland’s new Supreme Court law amid an ongoing row over the threat to the rule of law in Poland.
European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans. Photo: consilium.europa.eu.
But Frans Timmermans said there was not yet any decision on what action, if any, should be taken.
Timmermans, who took part in a European Parliament debate on the rule of law situation in Poland on Thursday, has said that the law which will force a number of the top court’s judges into retirement on July 3 undermines the independence of the judiciary.
On Wednesday, European commissioners gave him the green light to prepare a case against Poland which could see the country face the European Court of Justice, Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
According to commentators, whether Timmermans’ measures against Poland will be taken depends on a European Court of Justice decision that is expected on Thursday.
Irish judges asked the European top court to determine whether a Pole accused of smuggling would get a fair trial if extradited to Poland.
Polish Members of European Parliament linked to Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice party have accused Timmermans of being using a double standard, saying that procedures should also be launched against Spain and Germany, where they claim similar judicial laws are in place.
But members connected to the opposition have urged the European Commission deputy chief to step up its procedures against the country.
But Michał Boni, an MEP from the opposition Civic Platform party said: “The biggest advocates of the European Union in Poland are protesting in the streets and yelling with hope: ‘Europe, do not give in’… You have all possible options at hand to continue to fight for the rule of law in Poland. Let’s not give up, because too much is at stake”.
The European Commission last December took the unprecedented step of triggering Article 7 of the EU Treaty against Poland, stepping up pressure on Warsaw over controversial changes to the judicial system by the country’s ruling conservatives.