The European Parliament will tomorrow back a resolution criticising the actions of the Polish government that threaten the rule of law in the country. The resolution reaffirms Parliament’s support for the decision of the Commission to launch Article 7 procedures against the Polish government in December. The Commission and Council must be prepared to take real action if Warsaw continues to refuse to respect fundamental democratic principles.

S&D Group vice-president responsible for civil liberties, justice and home affairs, Josef Weidenholzer said:

“The European Parliament is clear – time is running out for the Polish government. If they do not act on the recommendations put forward by the Commission, they must face real consequences. When joining the EU you agree to meet certain democratic norms and standards and the independence of the judiciary is an essential part of that. The EU cannot work effectively if this is not guaranteed in every member state.

“This is not an attack on the Polish people – we are fighting to ensure that their rights as EU citizens are protected. As in Hungary, we need to show that the EU can take meaningful action when basic democratic principles are under threat. We need the European Council to treat this as a matter of urgency. They need to finally act and stand up in defence of our common European values.

“We are pleased the Polish government is finally engaging in dialogue with the Commission over these issues. However, talk is not an end in itself, until we see the Polish government amend the offending laws, then the threat of sanctions must remain on the table.”