The European Union on Wednesday said Poland had three months to address EU concerns about the country’s controversial judicial reforms, as it turned up the pressure on one of its larger members.
European Commission Vice President, Frans Timmermans, told newsmen in Brussels that“the rule of law is one of the pillars of our union and it has great significance for everyone, including individual citizens.
“You must be sure that you are protected by the law and that there are independent courts to look after your interests,’’ Timmermans said.
The EU’s executive issued recommendations to Warsaw, taking the next step in an unprecedented inquiry it has launched.
He said that the inquiry was to know whether Poland was violating the bloc’s fundamental values with changes to its constitutional tribunal, the country’s top Court.
The commission said that Brussels could seek to suspend Poland’s voting rights within the EU, as a last resort.
Poland had adapted its judicial reforms in a bid to appease Brussels, but critics and legal experts have said that the changes were insufficient and would still paralyse the court.
Timmermans said that the commission found that certain changes went in the right direction, but also that the fundamental concerns were still unresolved.
“This new law does not address the threat to the rule of law in Poland.
“Moreover, new problematic provisions have been introduced in the legislative process on the functioning of the tribunal,’’ he noted.
The Commission urged Poland to take action as a matter of urgency and to provide information within three months on the steps taken to that effect. (dpa/NAN)