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EP adopts resolution on rule of law in Poland

The European Parliament on Thursday adopted a resolution on what it says is the progressing deterioration of the rule of law in Poland. The resolution went through in a 513 to 148 vote with 33 abstentions, the Polish Press Agency reports. 

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The document, prepared by the EP’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), states that the situation has deteriorated since the activation of the EU Treaty’s sanctioning Article 7 procedure against Poland over rule-of-law deficiencies, and recommends that the European Commission and EU Council take decisive steps in the matter.

In its description of rule-of-law infringements in Poland, the resolution names the justice system, including the functioning of the Polish constitutional court, electoral laws, the freedom of gatherings, abortion rights and discrimination against the LGBT minority.

In late April, the Commission launched EU law infringement procedures against Poland over the introduction of disciplinary measures against judges. According to the EC, the regulation restricts judicial independence and violates the principle of the primacy of EU law over national legislation.

Poland has been given two months to respond. Should Poland and the EC reach no resolution in the matter, it may be referred to the EU Court of Justice.

“The Polish government has forgotten that democracy is not about majority rule but respect for EU laws, pluralism, the right to contest and the protection of minorities,” LIBE chair Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar said after the vote, the Polish Press Agency notes.