EU Commission Threatens Poland's Bloc Membership Over Judicial Reforms

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EU Commission Threatens Poland's Bloc Membership Over Judicial Reforms

The President of Poland Andrzej Duda signed one of the laws relating to the reform of the judicial system.

PO leader Gregorz Schetyna, PSL MP Piotr Zgorzelski, PSL leader, Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, Modern leader Ryszard Petru, Modern MP Kamila Gasiuk-Pihowicz and former Justice Minister Borys Budka.

"We regret that Mr. Timmermans without knowledge of the draft bills and Polish law comes up with a hurtful criticism of Poland".

Duda said in a televised address that he would veto the laws passed by the ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) Party that aimed to overhaul the powerful judges' ethics council and reform the Supreme Court, reports Efe news.

Thousands of Poles picketed outside the lower house and presidential palace for more than a week.

The Minister of justice shall be empowered to appoint and dismiss presidents of courts.

In its new, third set of recommendations to Poland, the commission says that the judicial reform "amplifies the systemic threat to the rule of law" already identified in the rule of law procedure that started last January.

No reply, or an insufficient reply that fails to address the commission concerns on the ongoing judicial reform will mean that the rule of law mechanism has been "exhausted" and the Article 7 procedure can be initiated, an European Union official said.

The Federation Council said the amendments violated bilateral agreements reached by the two countries in 1992 and 1994, under which Polish authorities are obliged to protect and preserve memorial sites.

The EU brought in Article 7 in response to fears about the rule of law in the wave of eastern states like Poland joining after 2004, although it was mainly intended as a backstop or threat that had little chance of being used.

The EU has taken issue with one particular legislation because it introduces different retirement ages for male and female judges, which the Commission claims is a breach of EU anti-discrimination law.

President Duda's decision to block a portion of the reform bill followed mass public protests against the government's attempt to take control of the judiciary.

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