Tags: EU | Poland | EU

Official: EU Finds Poland Amiss on Rule of Law

Wednesday, 01 June 2016 09:17 AM

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The European Union has found that Poland's government is amiss on the rule of law and has taken a step toward sanctions, a senior EU official said Wednesday.

The European Commission has sent a critical opinion to Poland's conservative government about its actions relating to the Constitutional Tribunal which have paralyzed the key court, EU Commissioner Frans Timmermans said.

"We've not been able to find a solution to the issues at stake," Timmermans said in Brussels.

In January, the commission opened a multi-step procedure checking whether Poland respects the rule of law. It could potentially lead to stripping Poland of its EU voting rights.

Wednesday's move means that EU leaders have found months of negotiations with Warsaw unsatisfactory and it brings the standoff closer to punishment for Warsaw, which would be the first ever sanctions for any EU member under the new "rule of law" procedure.

"We hope (the opinion) will help focus our dialogue with the government of Poland on issues that we believe need to be solved to get out of the conflict surrounding the Constitutional Tribunal," Timmermans said.

Timmermans tried to soften the situation by saying he is still in talks with Poland's government and doesn't believe any further censuring steps will be needed. But he stressed that the European Commission is obliged to make sure that all member states follow the EU rules.

Poland has two weeks to respond to the opinion, which hasn't been published. The government said it wants to work with the 28-nation bloc to resolve the issues.

"The government and the (European) Commission want to mend the situation surrounding the Constitutional Tribunal," Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymanski said.

"But we want to solve this crisis out of responsibility for the state not because of recommendations coming from international institutions. That's why, regardless of the Commission's opinion we will present our own solutions to the individual problems."

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The European Union has found that Poland's government is amiss on the rule of law and has taken a step toward sanctions, a senior EU official said Wednesday.The European Commission has sent a critical opinion to Poland's conservative government about its actions relating to...
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2016-17-01
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 09:17 AM
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