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Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament have welcome the unparalleled decision of the European Commission today to recommend the triggering of Art 7 (1) proceedings against Poland. The EU's executive and guardian of the treaties is finally taking steps that we have long advocated, in order to protect the rule of law in Poland and we now eagerly await a decision by EU Member States.
Guy Verhofstadt, President of the ALDE Group reacted to today's important decision:
"Today is a sad day for the people of Poland, but I welcome the proposal by the European Commission to trigger Art 7 (1) and take this matter to the European Council. It's clear the Polish judiciary is now under the political control of the ruling party and the principles of liberal democracy must be defended. The European Parliament made its position clear in a resolution adopted in November with a two-thirds majority. We also want to make it clear that the proposed sanctions will not have a negative effect on the Polish people, their sole aim is to bring the PiS Government back to its senses and ensure they play by the rules of our community. We must not let the PiS party get away with dismantling democracy in Poland."
Sophie In' t Veld MEP, ALDE's First Vice President added:
"European values and fundamental rights are not optional. Today´s proposal by the European Commission is a very important signal. Since two years, thousands of Polish people have taken to the streets to protest against repressive legislation, including on women’s rights. Political control over the judiciary in one member state affects the functioning of the EU as a whole. Europe has a duty to safeguard the rights of EU citizens. The rule of law must be respected by all member states. It was about time the Commission triggered Art 7.”
“Today´s decision also highlights the urgent need for a mechanism to permanently monitor democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in all member states, as proposed by the European Parliament in 2016.”