December 20, 2017 / 3:19 PM / a month ago

Factbox - EU launches action against Poland over courts reform

WARSAW (Reuters) - Below are details of the European Commission’s decision to launch the Article 7 procedure against Poland on Wednesday over judicial reforms that Brussels says undermine Polish courts’ independence.

The procedure could lead to a suspension of Poland’s voting rights in the EU if approved by all over EU members except Poland. Hungary has said it would veto any sanctions on Poland.

JUSTIFICATION

First Vice President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, said at a news conference on Wednesday that thirteen laws passed in Poland over the last two years “put at serious risk the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers in Poland”.

“The common pattern of all these legislative changes is that the executive or legislative powers are now set up in such a way that the ruling majority can systematically, politically interfere with the composition, the powers, the administration and the functioning of these authorities, thereby rendering the independence of the judiciary completely moot,” Timmermans said.

He said that laws passed by Poland’s parliament mean that:

EUROPEAN COMMISSION‘S REQUESTS

Timmermans said on Wednesday the European Commission asks Poland to:

The Commission said that should the Polish authorities implement the recommended actions in the coming three months the Commission stands ready to reconsider its decision to move forward with the Article 7 procedure.

Compiled by Marcin Goettig; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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