The deadline for the Polish government to make legislative changes in response to the monitoring procedure under the EU's rule of law framework will expire today. The Polish government has indicated it will not be revising the legal and constitutional changes with regard to the 'Constitutional Tribunal'. Commenting on the situation and the next steps in the procedure, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said:
"The EU and the Polish government must continue honest dialogue about the critical constitutional changes introduced; this is both in the interest of Polish citizens and in the interest of all EU citizens because the democratic functioning of the member states is fundamental for EU stability. So far the Polish government has not addressed the concerns with the rule of law emerging from the legal and constitutional changes it introduced. Given the lack of progress we ask Commission vice-president Timmermans to move ahead in the process.
"Clearly, the concerns with changes to the Constitutional Tribunal are of fundamental importance to the rule of law in Poland but there is a raft of other changes which provoke similar concerns. Other legal changes, such as those limiting media freedom and disproportionately expanding the powers of the police, must also be looked at by the Commission in the context of the rule of law mechanism is an important first step to this end. However, it cannot be the Commission alone that acts. EU governments in Council must also be actively engaged in defending the rule of law and democracy and must give full support to the Commission."