Belgium: EU ready to 'immediately trigger' sanctions on Poland over court reforms

W/S European Commission's First Vice President Frans Timmermans arriving for press conferenceM/S Journalist asking question SOT, Frans Timmermans, European Commission's First Vice President (English): «Given that we have clear legal grounds and that we are just waiting for the publication of this law before the possible breach of EU law becomes a reality, the commission today empowered me, in... Еще agreement with President Juncker, to send a letter of formal notice once the law on the ordinary courts organisation has been published. And we will give Polish authorities one month to reply from the day that this letter is sent. For now this is where we stand. And let me just underline that the commission's hand is still extended to the Polish authorities in the hope of constructive dialogue."M/S Journalist asking question *CUTAWAY*SOT, Frans Timmermans, European Commission's First Vice President (English): «The college discussed last week the option of using Article 7 if the situation did not improve. And our recommendation gives a clear indication of what actions by the Polish authorities would bring us to that point. The recommendation does not prevent Article 7 being activated directly in case a sudden deterioration requires immediate and strong reaction. The commissions recommendation asks the Polish authorities not to take any measure to dismiss or force to retirement of Supreme Court judges. If such a measure is taken the commission is ready to immediately trigger the Article 7 procedure."M/S Journalist asking question *CUTAWAY*SOT, Frans Timmermans, European Commission's First Vice President (English): «Well we've now sent our recommendation, it's been handed over to the Polish authorities and I will patiently await their reply and on the base of that reply we will charter our next steps. So I mean, I don't want to prejudge on a position we might take because I don't know what the reply will be. And I hope that the reply this time will be constructive and open for a dialogue so we'll wait for their answer and that we'll act upon that answer."M/S Journalist asking question *CUTAWAY*W/S Press conference finishingSCRIPTEuropean Commission's First Vice President Frans Timmermans said the bloc was ready to start legal proceedings against Poland over its proposed judiciary reform speaking from Brussels, Wednesday.Timmermans said he had sent a formal notice to the Polish government, with Warsaw having one month to reply to the letter. Commenting on the possibility of the Commission triggering Article 7, which allows for the suspension of an EU member state's voting rights, Timmermans stated that any move from the Polish government to force resignation of the country's judges would «immediately trigger the Article 7 procedure."Asked on what actions the commission will take if Poland fails to change its course in 30 days, Timmermans said «I will patiently await their reply and on the base of that reply we will charter our next steps. I don't want to prejudge on a position we might take because I don't know what the reply will be.»

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