College of Commissioners discusses recent developments in Poland and the Rule of Law Framework

Today, the College of Commissioners held a first orientation debate on recent developments in Poland and the Rule of Law. The Rule of Law is one of the fundamental values upon which the European Union is founded. The Commission, beyond its task to ensure the respect of EU law, is also responsible, together with the European Parliament, the Member States and the Council, for guaranteeing the fundamental values of the Union. Recent events in Poland, in particular the political and legal dispute concerning the composition of the Constitutional Tribunal, have given rise to concerns regarding the respect of the rule of law. The Commission had therefore requested information on the situation concerning the Constitutional Tribunal and on the changes in the law on the Public Service Broadcasters. Following a presentation by First Vice-President Timmermans (responsible for the rule of law framework), Commissioner Oettinger (responsible for media policy) and Commissioner Jourova (responsible for justice), the College held a first debate on these developments in order to assess the situation in Poland under the Rule of Law Framework. Following today’s orientation debate, the College mandated First Vice-President Timmermans to send a letter to the Polish government in order to start the structured dialogue under the Rule of Law Framework. The College agreed to come back to the matter by mid-March, in close cooperation with the Venice Commission. More information is available in a memo