The European Union has triggered Article 7 against Poland, a procedure that could result in sanctions targeting Warsaw, PAP news agency reports. The EU says Poland has violated democratic values with proposed judiciary reform.
The European Union’s executive body use Article 7 of the EU treaty what is called a “nuclear option” against Poland on Wednesday.
Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said he is puzzled over the “politically motivated” decision, stressing Warsaw was strictly following the EU laws.
It comes amid an ongoing feud between Brussels and Warsaw. The EU and Poland’s Euroskeptic and socially conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party have been engaged in ongoing disputes since the party came to power in late 2015. The PiS has been urging changes to the Polish judiciary and other institutions, citing the need for a so-called moral renewal of the country.
Earlier this year, protests erupted over the efforts to change the judiciary system. Opposition parties, rights groups, judges’ lobbies, the Council of Europe, the EU Commission, and European countries including Germany and France also said the proposed changes would erode judicial independence by bringing the courts under the direct control of the government.
Poland and the EU have also clashed over migration, as Warsaw has refused to accept migrants as part of a quota system devised during the European refugee crisis. Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said earlier that the decision has resulted in her country being seen as “a country free of terrorism.”