Liberal and Democrat MEPs have today called on the European Commission to agree to trigger Article 7 proceedings against Poland at their weekly college meeting tomorrow. In November, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for Article 7 to be triggered, following continued backsliding on the rule of law and judicial independence by the PiS Government.
Guy Verhofstadt, President of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament said today:
"Democracy is being dismantled in Poland, now is the time to act. The EU must make a stand against the rule of law backsliding being implemented by the PiS Government, which is totally contrary to the values of the European Union. This isn't about punishing the people of Poland, who deserve better from their Government. An article 7 procedure against the Polish Government would be a sad day for the majority of Polish people who support EU membership, but it would be a necessary step to ensure our Union remains anchored on fundamental rights and the rule of law."
Sophie In' t Veld MEP, ALDE's First Vice President commented:
""The rule of law and fundamental rights are not optional. Poland was very well aware of the EU's democratic principles and strict requirements to uphold the rule of law when they signed up to join this community in 2004. Political control over the judiciary in one member state affects the functioning of the EU as a whole. Not just security and law enforcement cooperation, but also the internal market. The huge crowds in the streets of Polish cities demonstrates that Polish people want the rule of law to be upheld. The Commission has a duty to act now and safeguard the integrity of the EU and the rights of EU citizens.”
“The situation 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.”