Poland’s judiciary reform is Europe’s biggest headache

Silvia Amaro, CNBC, 24.07.2017

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Poland could lose its voting rights in the European Union if it presses ahead with reforms to the judiciary.

The country has become a headache for the EU since the right-wing conservative government won the general election in 2015 and began implementing several laws deemed risky for democracy.

The European Commission, which is responsible for ensuring that member states follow European law, could announce Wednesday that it is stepping up procedures against Poland as Warsaw tries to reform its judiciary.

"Given the actions of the Polish government, the chances of the EU triggering Article 7 are increasing," Janis Emmanouilidis, political analyst at the European Policy Centre think tank in Brussels, told CNBC on Monday. [...]

Why is the government pushing this agenda?

"It could be a trap," Emmanouilidis from EPC warned. "The President of the PiS party (the ruling party) would love nothing more than seeing the Polish people becoming more critical of the EU," he said.

The ruling PiS party is slightly Eurosceptic whereas the Polish people are vastly pro-European. Emmanouilidis explained that the constant attempts by the Polish government to increase its control could be a tactic to make Poland less EU-friendly.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Poland carrying Polish and EU flags demonstrating against the most recent government's proposals. [...]

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