May 1, 2019 / 8:27 AM / 5 months ago

EU's Katainen says Article 7 procedure against Poland has had little impact

FILE PHOTO: European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen addresses the European Parliament during a debate on the US decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium in Strasbourg, France March 14, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

WARSAW (Reuters) - European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said on Wednesday that the European Union’s Article 7 procedure, under which the bloc could sanction Poland over changes affecting the rule of law, had not yet had any impact on Warsaw’s behaviour.

“The current situation is not good because we have had Article 7 procedure in Poland but unfortunately nothing has happened,” he told journalists in Warsaw.

“We have had a dialogue with a latest proposal (for a legal amendment from Poland) it wasn’t consulted at all with the Commission. The consultation doesn’t function, and it has raised other problems in other member states,” he added.

The European Parliament invoked Article 7 of its governing treaty against Poland in late 2017 for persistently flouting democratic rules, the first time it had used the procedure, and against Hungary in 2018. The process could theoretically lead to the two countries losing their voting rights in the EU.

Reporting by Joanna Plucinska, Writing by Alicja Ptak, Editing by Catherine Evans

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