Still concerned about the rule of law in Poland, the European Commission said on February 19 that the country has made “very little progress”.
“In a nutshell, there has been very little progress since the last hearing in December,” Frans Timmermans, vice president of the European Union executive, told reporters in Brussels. “There are also a number of new, worrying developments, especially in the field of disciplinary procedures against judges who make public statements about the rule of law in Poland or who have asked preliminary questions to the European Court of Justice.”
“We still have worries about the situation of the constitutional tribunal. We also want to clarify the situation on the ordinary courts,” Timmermans added. “There’s ample stuff to discuss with the Polish authorities and I do hope we can have a constructive dialog on all these,” he said.
“Sadly between December and now we have seen no progress, and in some areas even increasing worries,” Timmermans said.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, Brussels launched an unprecedented procedure on whether Poland is observing the rules of law, which serves mainly as a means of political pressure.
The procedure could lead to the loss of voting power in the EU for a government that does not observe the rule of law.
Poland was the first ever to be put under that procedure, by the European Commission for undermining the independence of the courts.