The European Commission has sent Poland a set of recommendations regarding its judicial overhaul. However, vice president Timmermans said this is not a blank cheque, and if judges are fired, a red line will have been crossed.
“The recommendation does not prevent article 7 being activated, directly in case of sudden deterioration which requires immediate and strong reaction. The commission’s recommendation asks the Polish authorities not to take any measures to dismiss or force retirement of supreme court judges. If such a measure is taken, the commission is ready to trigger the Article 7.1 procedure”, Timmermans said.
The Commission has given Poland one month to address the concerns over infringements on the rule of law.
But as protests continue across Polish cities, Carnegie Europe told euronews that the general population could be the biggest influence on President Duda.
Senior fellow Judy Dempsey told Euronews: “One other aspect and I think this will influence president Duda’s next moves is actually the huge role of the opposition. And I am not talking about the established opposition, Civic Platform. I am talking about the tens of thousands of ordinary Poles that come out to defend the values, the freedom of the press, the independence of judiciary, checks and balances, separation of powers. And they are of course very much pro EU”.
“They are going to play a very big role during the summer and it is interesting that all this happens during the summer, when people have time to demonstrate”, Dempsey added.
Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty allows the EU to suspend rights of a member state, if a qualified majority decide the rule of law or human rights have been infringed upon.