June 27, 2018
EU officials said efforts to sanction Poland over alleged rule-of-law violations would continue, after Warsaw’s attempt to defend itself at an extraordinary disciplinary hearing on Tuesday failed to persuade ministers and European Commission officials.
“Let me be very clear: The systemic threat for the rule-of-law persists,” Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans said at a news conference following the hearing before the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg.
“So for us to be able to say that it no longer persists, we will need some more steps from the Polish side,” Timmermans said. “We have not had any indications of that today. But who knows — there might be indications in the near future. We remain open for that dialogue.”
The hearing against Poland was an extraordinary step, in an already extraordinary effort launched by the Commission in December to invoke disciplinary measures under Article 7 of the EU treaties, which theoretically could lead to the suspension of Poland’s voting rights in the European Council.