WARSAW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the European Parliament adopted a resolution that will launch a mechanism for the application of political and economic sanctions by the European Union against Poland for the latter’s reforms that, according to the bloc, constitute a derogation from democracy and the rule of law.
“We note with regret that the negative assessment of the Polish president’s draft laws are based on the verbal opinion of the European Commission that was expressed just a couple of days ago. The Polish government, in its turn, provides comprehensive, written responses to the European Commission’s recommendations… [The EU resolution] does not relate to the substance of contentious matters between the European Commission and Poland, [the resolution] should be considered as an instrument of political pressure upon Poland,” the statement said.
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 European Commission since they threatened the principle of the separation of powers.
The third bill, on ordinary courts, was signed by the president. Soon after the publication of the new legislation, the European Commission started an infringement procedure against Poland as the law on ordinary courts violated EU law regarding judicial independence as well as gender equality, due to different retirement ages for men and women.
The European Commission has sent several letters to the Polish government in which it formulated its recommendations and stated its readiness to invoke Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would suspend Poland’s membership rights in the European Union, such as voting in the Council of Europe.
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