All parties were well prepared for the hearings of Poland to the EU Council for General Affairs under article 7 paragraph 1 of the Treaty on European Union, said in Luxembourg, the first Deputy Chairman of the European Commission Frans Timmermans.
“We are all well prepared. (Euro), the Commission was well prepared. The Polish government is very well prepared, arrived with enhanced delegation. And I should add that member States were also very well prepared because they were asking very precise questions of the Polish delegation,” — said the Chairman of the EC at a press conference on Tuesday evening after the Council meeting.
“We need to resolve this issue European. That is through dialogue. It is important for our common future. Need for Poland to play its historical role in the European construction. And so it was, I really believe that we need to ensure that there was no more systemic threats to the rule of law in Poland. That is the purpose of the Commission,” explained F. Timmermans.
He said that this approach is not based on confrontation. There is a dialogue to come to a solution that will allow us to conclude that there are no such systemic threats.
According to him, discussed all the issues of the Polish judicial reform. “Member States asked questions of both accurate and honest, they weren’t trying to pass judgement. They really wanted to get answers, and the Polish government were able to give answers,” the Commissioner described the situation at the meeting of the EU Council.
“(The Euro), the Commission remains convinced of the need to find a solution through dialogue. I’m at the disposal of the Polish authorities to continue this dialogue. Today we stated a new step forward by the Polish government. There was no evidence of the intention of Poland to go beyond what she has already done, but I remain at the disposal of Poland, to find a solution, and the Commission will continue to work in this direction”, — said F. Timmermans.
In response to the question of whether the European Commission after this hearing the Council of the EU to take another procedure on breach of Union law, the Chairman of the EC said “the Commission always have the ability to launch procedures on the violation, if we believe it is necessary. In the case of Poland we haven’t made any decisions and will continue to examine the dossier.”
As has informed the presidency in the EU Council, Minister of foreign Affairs of Bulgaria Ekaterina Zakharieva, “the next stage during the forthcoming General Affairs Council will be to transition to the assessment — the evaluation of responses (Poland — if), reaction and decision on further steps under article seventh.”
“All the member States hope that today’s hearing will be helpful to continue the dialogue and come to a positive decision”, — she answered to a question, adding that on this dossier goes to the Austrian presidency of the EU Council, which will begin their duties July 1.
“In my opinion, there is no need to organise a new hearing. All will depend on what will decide the next General Affairs Council, that is, under the Austrian presidency”, — said the Minister of foreign Affairs of Bulgaria.
As reported, 20 December 2017, first Deputy of the Chairman of the EC, F. Timmermans announced that the European Commission recommended the EU Council to take a decision on Poland under article 7, paragraph 1 of the Treaty on European Union in connection with the risk of a serious breach of the common values of the EU listed in article 2 of the Treaty.
However, the Treaty on European Union provides for a complicated procedure of punishment of a member state in the case of such violations, and the first paragraph of article 7 does not lead directly to sanctions.
The last word, according to article 7, paragraph 2, remains with the European Council. If it “unanimously on the proposal of one third of the member States or the European Commission and after approval by the European Parliament” notes “the existence of a serious and sustained violation in any member state of the values referred to in article 2 (“respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities — if)”, we first need to offer this to the member state to submit its observations on the matter.
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