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EU Parliament warns Poland on not fearing off rule of law

In the vote, the Parliament decided by 438 votes to 152 to prepare a formal request that the Council activate the preventive mechanism provided for in Article 7.1.of the Treaty. If the risk persists and the Polish authorities refuse to comply with the EU recommendations, the procedure might lead to the suspension of Poland's voting rights in the Council.

Specific concerns were voiced about the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary and fundamental rights.

The resolution calls on the Polish authorities to uphold the common European values listed in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union and in the Polish Constitution. It urges Poland:

    not to proceed the new laws unless they fully guarantee the independence of the judiciary to implement all EU Commission and Venice Commission recommendations in full,
    to comply with the EU Court of Justice order to "immediately suspend large-scale logging" in the ancient Bialowieza forest,
    to respect the right of freedom of assembly,
    to strongly condemn the "xenophobic and fascist march that took place in Warsaw" on Saturday,11    November 2017, and
    to take a firm stand on women's rights, by providing free and accessible contraception without discrimination and making emergency contraception available without medical prescription.

Under Parliament's Rules of Procedure (Rule 83), its Civil Liberties Committee now needs to draw up a "reasoned proposal", the document required to call on the Council to trigger the rule of law mechanism in response to a "clear risk of a serious breach" of European values by the Polish authorities.

This is only the second time that the European Parliament has taken formal steps to call on the Council to start the Article 7 procedure. The first was taken in May 2017 with respect to Hungary. The procedure is still under way.

The dialogue between the Commission and the Polish authorities is conducted under the "rule of law" procedure initiated in January 2016.

Read more: EU Parliament warns Poland on rule of law — | EU news, business and politics

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