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European Commission takes second step against Poland

European Commission takes second step against Poland”

It said it was giving Warsaw one month to address judicial changes which it believes violate the rule of law.

Brussels has warned that the new rules allow the justice minister to influence individual judges. The Commission started legal proceedings against the nationalist government in Warsaw back in July this year.

"The Polish authorities now have one month to take the necessary measures to comply with this reasoned opinion", the commission said in a statement.

The European Commission on September 12 chose to send a Reasoned Opinion to Poland regarding the Polish law on the Ordinary Courts Organisation.

"The Polish authorities have one month to take the necessary measures to comply", the Commission said, adding: "If the Polish authorities do not take appropriate measures, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union".

The Commission, which polices law in the 28-member bloc, said Tuesday that it has now taken the second of three steps in the so-called infringement procedure against Poland.

European Commission vice president Frans Timmermans said two weeks ago that Poland had failed to announce "any concrete measures" in its reply to the commission.

This includes the commission 60 years for women and 65 years for men noting that the development breached European Union anti-discrimination laws. The Commission issued a complementary (third) Rule of Law Recommendation on 26 July 2017, which also concerned this law, among other issues.

The controversial reforms grant the justice minister the power to hire and fire the heads of lower courts as well as extend the mandates of judges who have reached retirement age.

Article 7 is a never-before-used European Union process created to uphold the rule of law, a so-called "nuclear option" that can freeze a country's right to vote in meetings of European Union ministers.

In Poland, government critics fear a total takeover of the judiciary would leave the party able to use the courts to settle scores with political opponents and even to falsify election outcomes.



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