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Commission must not take pressure off Polish government on rule of law


Justice & Home Affairs
During a debate in the European Parliament, the S&D Group urged the European Commission not to take pressure off the Polish government over its reforms of the country’s judiciary.
S&D Group president Udo Bullmann said:
“Poland is an integral part of the EU. It has made incredible progress in the 14 years since joining, both economically and politically. However, that progress was built on a foundation of strong, independent institutions. These are now under threat. The European Commission, as well as numerous other independent observers, has viewed the recent changes to the judicial system as a threat to the rule of law and independence of the judiciary. This has consequences for not just Poland, but for the whole of the EU.
“The European Commission is the guardian of the EU treaties and has a responsibility to act when they see a threat to the rule of law in any member state. That is why we fully supported the European Commission’s decision to launch Article 7 procedures in December last year. We are now deeply concerned by rumours that the conservative EPP party is putting pressure on the Commission to drop these procedures in the hope of political support from the Polish government. The Commission has an essential and non-political role in protecting the EU treaties. We urge the EPP Group to make clear that they are not attempting to change that for cheap electoral advantage.”
S&D Group vice-president Josef Weidenholzer MEP added:
“We are concerned by the Polish government’s attempts to politicise the judiciary. We urge them to finally adopt the Commission’s recommendations in full and put an end to this crisis. The concessions they have offered so far are largely superficial and do not address the main problems with the changes. We will be putting this directly to the Polish Prime Minister when he comes to the European Parliament in July.
“We stand side-by-side with the Polish people fighting to protect their democracy. We urge the Commission not to abandon these people and continue to pressure the government to change course.”