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EU Commission to end years-long rule-of-law procedure against Poland

by Martin Fornusek May 6, 2024 11:42 PM 2 min read
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Warsaw, Poland, on March 28, 2024. (PM Denys Shmyhal/Telegram)
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The European Commission said on May 6 that it had taken the first steps to drop its sanctions procedure against Poland over the rule-of-law issues.

The EU's executive arm launched the procedure, which can lead to the suspension of certain rights, in 2017 against the Polish government at the time led by the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party.

"Today marks a new chapter for Poland. After more than 6 years, we believe that the Article 7 procedure can be closed," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on X.

"I congratulate Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his government on this important breakthrough."

PiS failed to win a majority in the October 2023 parliamentary elections, losing to a coalition of center-right and left-wing parties led by Tusk.

Upon taking office, the new prime minister promised to address the rule of law issues and restore Warsaw's relationship with the EU.

"The Commission considers that there is no longer a clear risk of a serious breach of the rule of law in Poland within the meaning of Article 7," the commission's statement read.

Poland's PiS-led government had come under the EU's scrutiny for violations of fundamental values and encroachment on judicial independence. Hungary, led by conservative-populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, is the only country other than Poland to have been subjected to Article 7.

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