14 September, 2017

Poland and the EU ~ Notes

Against the background of the road to Brexit adopted by the UK it seems worth looking at the relationship between the EU and the Republic of Poland. The following is in note form only .....

A new Constitution for Poland came into force on 17th October 1997 - Constitution of the Republic of Poland   - for Polish constitutional history see HERE.

2004 - Poland acceded to the EU

In 2014, the EU adopted a Rule of Law Framework - see: Europa - Justice - Rule of Law  and Speech by Viviane Reding 18th March 2014.    The framework is discussed at Verfassungsblog 28th February 2016 - EU Law and Politics: the Rule of Law Framework

In 2015, Poland held a Presidential Election - won by Andrzej Duda - BBC 25th May 2015

In 2015, Poland held a Parliamentary election and the Law and Justice Party secured power - The Guardian 27th October 2015.

Both elections marked a significant move toward more right-wing policies.

New government made changes to the Constitutional Tribunal - Politico 24th December 2015 - Poland's Constitutional Crisis goes international

Serious concerns arose over the new government's actions especially with regard to the Constitutional Tribunal - Foreign Affairs 25th August 2016 - Poland's Constitutional Crisis - How the Law and Justice Party is Threatening Democracy

In 2016, the EU warned Poland over threats to the rule of law - EU applying Rule of Law Framework - BBC 1st June 2016

Tensions continue between Poland and the EU - Express 5th August 2017 - 'On a collision course' Poland and the EU closer to Polexit than EVER BEFORE, expert warns.

13th September 2017 - European Parliament - State of the Union Speech at Strasbourg by European Commission President Juncker

Reaction to the Speech by Nigel Farage MEP alleging that the EU has learned nothing from Brexit

Is it likely that Polexit will be hot on the tail of Brexit?  Cannot be sure at the moment but tensions are clearly very high between Poland and the EU as well as between Poland and Germany.

Further links:

29th September - Verfassungsblog - Marcin Matczak - President Duda is destroying the Rule of Law rather than fixing it

POLAND represents a dilemma for the European Union (EU). Since coming to power in October 2015, the right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS in Polish) has been weakening the country’s democratic checks and balances. After two years of finger-wagging, the bosses in Brussels appear to have lost patience. Having determined that the rule of law in Poland is under threat, in December EU officials triggered Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, which refers to “a clear risk of a serious breach” of EU values. Poland has three months to address the concerns. If it does not, it could ultimately lose its EU voting rights. Yet that is not all that is at stake. As Brussels flexes its muscles, the way it deals with Poland will set a precedent that could have ramifications even beyond the EU’s borders.

On the eve of new Polish measures that could mean dozens of senior judges losing their jobs, the European Union has launched a legal case against the country's right-wing government.
The EU's executive has already accused the Polish authorities of bringing in laws that "interfere significantly" with the judiciary.
Now it has given Warsaw a one-month deadline to answer its concerns.
Under the laws, up to 40% of Supreme Court judges could be forced out.
The first president of the court, Malgorzata Gersdorf, could be among those pushed out before her six-year term ends, by a rule that brings down the retirement age from 70 to 65, the EU warns.

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