The European Commission has today adopted a Rule of Law Recommendation on the situation in Poland, setting out the Commission’s concerns and recommending how these can be addressed. This new step under the Rule of Law Framework follows the intensive dialogue that has been ongoing with the Polish authorities since 13 January. After the adoption of an Opinion on the situation in Poland on 1 June, the Polish Parliament adopted a new Law on the Constitutional Tribunal on 22 July. The Commission has assessed the overall situation, including in the light of the new law, and reaches the conclusion that even if certain of its concerns have been addressed by that law, important issues of concern regarding the rule of law in Poland remain. The Commission is therefore laying out concrete recommendations to the Polish authorities on how to address these concerns. The Commission believes that there is a systemic threat to the rule of law in Poland. The fact that the Constitutional Tribunal is prevented from fully ensuring an effective constitutional review adversely affects its integrity, stability and proper functioning, which is one of the essential safeguards of the rule of law in Poland. Where a constitutional justice system has been established, its effectiveness is a key component of the rule of law. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said today: “Despite the dialogue pursued with the Polish authorities since the beginning of the year, the Commission considers the main issues which threaten the rule of law in Poland have not been resolved. We are therefore now making concrete recommendations to the Polish authorities on how to address the concerns so that the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland can carry out its mandate to deliver effective constitutional review”. A press release and a Q&A are available.
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