Rule of law concerns in Poland: how the Article 7 procedure would work


EPs have endorsed a proposal to launch proceedings to establish the risk of a breach of EU values by Poland. Find out how the process would work under Article 7 of the Treaty on the EU.

Commission concerns

The  European Commission is concerned about the independence of Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal and courts following several changes in national legislation. It has been monitoring developments since November 2015 and talking with the Polish authorities for more than two years now. The Commission has issued four recommendations under the so-called Rule of Law Framework, which seeks to prevent the escalation of threats, but has not yet been satisfied with the response of the Polish government.

Rule of law is a key principle in democratic states that ensures the independence of the judiciary system. Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union mentions respect for the rule of law as one of the values the EU is founded on. A breach of EU values justifies a reaction at EU level and this is what the procedure under Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union aims to achieve.

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