The European Commission dropped its Article 7 procedure against Poland

The European Commission informed that it has closed the case of Poland under which the country was under scrutiny in the framework of the Article 7 procedure of the Treaty on European Union (TUE). 

According to the Commission’s findings, there is no longer a discernible risk of a significant violation of the rule of law in Poland as defined by Article 7(1) of the Treaty on European Union. Poland has implemented a series of both legislative and non-legislative measures aimed at addressing concerns regarding the independence of its justice system. 

It is also worth emphasising that Poland has acknowledged the supremacy of EU law and has committed to upholding all judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights pertaining to the rule of law, particularly concerning judicial independence.

I congratulate Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his government on this important breakthrough. It is the result of their hard work and determined reform efforts” – European Commission Président Ursula von der Leyen wrote on her X account. 

https://twitter.com/vonderleyen/status/1787423460785807806

The presentation of an Action Plan by Poland in February 2024, coupled with its initial steps towards its implementation, and Poland’s recognition of the imperative to address rule of law issues, are all pivotal considerations in the Commission’s risk assessment. 

Consequently, the Commission has concluded that the risk of a serious rule of law breach is no longer apparent. Notably, Poland’s accession to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office on 29 February 2024 is a significant development in this regard.

As a result, the Commission  communicated its assessment to both the European Council and the European Parliament, along with its intention to retract the Reasoned Proposal put forward in 2017, thereby formally concluding the Article 7(1) procedure.

The Article 7 procedure against Poland was launched by the European Commision in December 2017. It was initiated due to alleged concerns about the rule of law in Poland, particularly regarding the independence of the judiciary. The procedure was triggered by judicial reforms introduced by the Polish government, which were seen as potentially undermining the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary. This marked the first time Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union was invoked against a member state.

 

Image: X (@TVPWorld_com)

Author: Sébastien Meuwissen

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