About: Rule of Law Mechanism

Polish-EU tensions flare again as new law requires judges to quit

A long-running dispute between Poland and the European Union over democratic values escalated on Wednesday (4 July) when new legislation came into force that requires about a third of judges at the Supreme Court to retire.

Poles protest as government’s judicial reforms kick in

Thousands of Poles took to the streets of Warsaw and other Polish cities on Tuesday (3 July) to protest against the government's makeover of the judiciary that takes effect at midnight despite strong objections by the European Union.

Commission starts procedure against Poland over Supreme Court overhaul

The European Commission formally notified Poland on Monday (July 2) that it had initiated infringement proceedings against the country because of the controversial Supreme Court Act, but gave the Polish authorities one month to answer.

EU urges ‘more progress’ from Poland by next month

The EU warned Poland it could move closer next month to unprecedented sanctions, unless Warsaw makes "a lot more progress" in the row over its controversial court reforms.
EU Priorities 2020 08-05-2018

Poland plays down possible EU budget cuts

Poland on Monday (7 May) played down possible EU funding cuts over its controversial judicial reforms – in addition to sanctions it already faces – saying it sees room for negotiation over financial allocations.
Future EU 03-05-2018

Bulgaria dislikes Commission plan to link EU funding to rule of law

A major innovation in the next long-term EU budget proposed by the European Commission yesterday (2 May) is the conditionality between EU funding and the rule of law. But the country holding the EU Presidency voiced its own clear rejection.

Poland takes step back in court reform to please EU, voters

Poland's lower house of parliament on Thursday (12 April) approved changes to judiciary reforms in a bid to soothe European Union concerns that the rule of law in Poland would be weakened.
Future EU 10-04-2018

Timmermans urges quick solution to Poland’s court reform dispute

Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans on Monday (9 April) urged Poland to step up efforts at finding a solution to a high-pitched dispute over its controversial judicial reforms, denounced by Brussels as violating the rule of law.
Central Europe 28-03-2018

Rule of law: Chance for compromise between Warsaw and Brussels?

Members of Poland's Law and Justice (PiS) party have proposed amendments to the controversial laws governing the Polish judicial system that put Warsaw in the crosshairs of the European Commission. It is still unclear if these changes will soothe the dispute or if they are just empty gestures. EURACTIV Poland reports.
Future EU 07-03-2018

Polish conservatives take control of judicial watchdog

Poland's conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party yesterday (6 March) moved closer towards controlling the country’s justice system by having its own candidates elected to a body overseeing judicial impartiality.

Polish Supreme Court slams ‘unconstitutional’ PiS reforms

Poland's Supreme Court justices yesterday (16 January) denounced the right-wing government's controversial judicial reforms as "unconstitutional", adding their voice to a chorus of criticism at home and abroad.

Poland banks on ‘dialogue’ to solve EU rule-of-law row

Warsaw banks on "dialogue" to solve its row with the EU over recent reforms denounced by Brussels as violating the rule of law, Poland's new Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said yesterday (15 January).

Polish PM sacks key ministers, holds ‘friendly’ meeting with Juncker

Poland's new right-wing Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki sacked his defence and foreign ministers in a major cabinet reshuffle yesterday (9 January), as he seeks to mend strained ties with the country's EU partners.
Elections 15-12-2017

Macron and Merkel give last warning to Poland

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will support the Commission if it decides to trigger Article 7 against Warsaw next week, the two told a joint press conference at the end of a two-day EU summit on Friday (15 December).
Future EU 15-12-2017

Polish PM expects ‘nuclear’ article 7 to be triggered next Wednesday

Poland's new prime minister said on Thursday (14 December) that he expects the EU to impose unprecedented sanctions next week that could strip his government of its voting rights over its controversial court reforms.
Central Europe 28-11-2017

Poland probes pictures of MEPs ‘on gallows’ at far-right demonstration

Poland's justice minister announced an investigation on Monday (27 November) after mocked-up pictures of opposition MEPs allegedly hanging on gallows were unfurled at a far-right demonstration on Saturday.

Macron receives Szydlo, tones down criticism of Poland

French President Emmanuel Macron said yesterday (23 November) that Poland's plans to overhaul the judiciary remained a cause for concern though there were a decreasing number of subjects where the two countries did not see eye-to-eye.
Elections 12-10-2017

Behind the diplomatic scene: The case of Poland’s outgoing EU ambassador

Last week, Polish Ambassador to the EU Jarosław Starzyk resigned from his post in Brussels. In a portrait, Tomasz Bielecki, the Brussels correspondent of EURACTIV.com’s media partner Gazeta Wyborcza provides insight into the circumstances of Starzyk’s departure.
Central Europe 05-10-2017

EU steps up action against Hungary over ‘anti-Soros’ NGO law

The EU yesterday (4 October) intensified its legal action against Hungary over a crackdown on education and foreign-backed civil society groups that critics say targets US billionaire George Soros.
Future EU 09-08-2017

Poland ‘still’ a democracy, says foreign minister

Poland's foreign minister denied Wednesday (9 August) accusations that his EU country is drifting towards authoritarianism amid a string of government reforms that have triggered mass protests at home and EU warnings about rule of law violations.

Poland’s Kaczynski says sticking to judicial reform plans

Poland's ruling Law and Justice party is sticking to its plans to reform the judiciary but will wait for proposals from President Andrzej Duda before taking further action, its head Jaroslaw Kaczynski said on Thursday (27 July).
Freedom of thought 24-07-2017

Polish president vetoes controversial court reforms

Poland's president on Monday (24 July) vetoed controversial judicial reforms that had prompted huge street protests and threats of unprecedented EU sanctions.
Freedom of thought 24-07-2017

Candlelight protest against changes to Poland’s judiciary

Thousands of demonstrators bearing candles marched on the Polish Supreme Court on Sunday (23 July) in protest against controversial proposed judicial reforms.

Timmermans dangles Article 7, makes appeal to the Poles

The Commission is likely to call for the triggering of Article 7 next Wednesday (26 July) with respect to Poland, often referred to as “the nuclear option” to punish an EU member state, it emerged following the weekly meeting of the EU executive today (19 July).