EC once again scorns Poland on courts' political control

Putting Polish courts under political control will not make them better and only violates Warsaw's obligations under EU treaties which Poland signed up to of its own will, Commission First VP Frans Timmermans said last Thursday during a debate on the rule of law in Poland at the EP plenary.

Putting Polish courts under political control will not make them better and only violates Warsaw's obligations under EU treaties which Poland signed up to of its own will, Commission First VP Frans Timmermans said last Thursday during a debate on the rule of law in Poland at the EP plenary. According to the Commission, the reforms undertaken by the Law and Justice (PiS) party government seriously undermine court independence, which is a key EU value.
“In reforming the judiciary you still need to respect the independence of the judiciary,” Timmermans said. “If you believe that through putting the judiciary under political control you can make it better, you are wrong and you are violating your own obligations under European treaties. That is the core element of our discussion with the Polish government,” he added. EU governments will discuss the situation in Poland on 26 June. 
Separately, leading Polish intellectuals, including former president Lech Walesa, lead the fight against the controversial reforms. Expressing fears that, with the changes, Poland's democracy would be put at stake, they have urged the European Court of Justice to intervene. In a statement released last week, Walesa expressed “deep concern over the crisis brought about by the far-reaching changes to Poland's judiciary,” and urged Brussels to take action. The former president was last year among the most vocal supporters of the EC triggering the Article 7 procedure, a mechanism to punish breaches of EU values, in response to Poland's judicial reforms.

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