EU to act against Poland if judges harassed for consulting ECJ

EPA-EFE//STEPHANIE LECOCQ

European Commissioner in charge of Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen (not seen) and First Vice-President of European Commission Frans Timmermans give a press conference at the European Commission in Brussels.

EU to act against Poland if judges harassed for consulting ECJ


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First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, warned that the EU executive will take action against Poland if its government is harassing judges for consulting the European Court of Justice on the legality of Polish reforms.

Speaking to journalists after the General Affairs Council in Brussels, Timmermans was particularly vocal about the request he received from Poland’s main judges’ association, which asked him to act.
“Every Polish judge is also a European judge, so no one should interfere with the right of a judge to pose questions to the European Court of Justice,” Timmermans added.
“If that is becoming something of a structural matter, if judges are being faced with disciplinary measures because they ask questions to the court in Luxembourg, then, of course, the Commission will have to act,” Timmermans underlined
The Article 7 discussion – a procedure in the treaties of the European Union that allows Brussels to suspend certain rights of a member state in the Council of ministers – remains on the table.  Under this unprecedented procedure, which was launched by the Commission, the EU executive aims to apply more political pressure to the Polish government, which it claims has violated fundamental European values.
“Not much has changed and some things have even worsened,” Timmermans admitted when discussing the overall situation between the EU and the government of Poland.
Speaking about a similar procedure that has been launched against Hungary’s by the European Parliament, Timmermans said he confronted several Hungarian ministers on two separate occasions within about “ludicrous” posters that have appeared across the country that openly attacked EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and philanthropist George Soros, accusing the two of being advocates for illegal immigration into the European Union.
“They pretend the EU is something else and that they are not part of it. This is something from a different universe,” said the Commission Vice President in regards to the responses that he received from Hungary’s ministers.
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