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EU lays out options to punish Poland’s challenge to bloc law

Oct 19 (Reuters) – The European Commission laid out its options – starting from authorized motion to withholding funds – for a response to a Polish court docket ruling that questioned the supremacy of EU law, stressing that motion have to be taken to defend the bloc’s frequent values.

“The European Commission is, at the moment, carefully assessing this judgment,” the European Union’s govt president, Ursula von der Leyen, stated on Tuesday.

“But I can already tell you: I am deeply concerned,” she instructed the European Parliament in Strasbourg forward of a speech to the meeting by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

“This ruling calls into question the foundations of the European Union. It is a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal order.”

She stated a primary possibility is so-called infringements, the place the European Commission legally challenges the judgment by the Polish Constitutional Court.

Another possibility is a conditionality mechanism and different monetary instruments whereby funds from the EU’s price range and its post-pandemic restoration fund can be withheld from Poland.

“This is European taxpayers’ money. And if our Union is investing more than ever to advance our collective recovery, we must protect the Union budget against breaches of the rule of law,” von der Leyen stated.

She stated a 3rd possibility is the applying of Article 7 of the EU’s treaties underneath which rights of member states – together with the precise to vote on EU choices – may be suspended as a result of they’ve breached core values of the bloc.

“The Polish Constitutional Court that today has cast doubts on the validity of our Treaty is the same court that under Article 7 we consider not to be independent and legitimate,” she stated. “This comes in many ways full circle.”

Reporting by John Chalmers

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gives a media statement on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines, in Brussels, Belgium October 18, 2021.  REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool

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