EU'S juncker says sanctions on Poland over disputed laws unlikely

Jan 11, 2016 EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker recently asserted that Poland was in talks with Belgium over two widely criticized laws passed by the new Polish government. He however mentioned that punitive measures by the EU are unlikely.

The Polish government recently moved to establish public media in the country directly under the control of government. This has drawn criticism from opposition at home as well from other European countries.

While addressing reporter, Juncker said:

“We are in discussions with Poland and I don’t want to speculate about further consequences, which could be entailed by the application of Article 7 (of the Treaty on European Union for the ‘respect for and promotion of the values on which the Union is based’). We are not there, I don’t think that we will come to that point because I’m very confident that from now to then, the Polish government will present us its own reflection and will give a reaction to this. Let’s not overdramatise. It’s an important issue but we have to have friendly and good relations with Poland so our approach is a very constructive one: We are not bashing Poland,”

Also addressing reporters, EU Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said it was the EU institutions to protect human rights in Europe.

“Protecting the rule of law and human rights in those member states is a collective responsibility, not just of the member states but of the Union as whole and that is enshrined in our treaties, that is enshrined in all the obligations pertaining to human rights and I think it is only just that the Commission would take that up with every single member state if so warranted,”

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