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European Commission: if forest logging continues, the rule of law procedure will be extended

TVN24 News in English

"The Commission is following the situation with great concern"
EBS"The Commission is following the situation with great concern"

"If it is confirmed that the logging continues to take place in the Białowieża Forest, the issue will be taken up in the ongoing rule of law procedure with Poland," the European Commission announced on Wednesday. Until now, the Commission has only been focusing on changes to the Polish judiciary.

"The Commission is following the situation with great concern. So far we have only seen press reports on the matter, that the logging is ongoing. If it is confirmed that the logging continues to take place in the Białowieża Forest, the issue will be taken up in the ongoing rule of law procedure with Poland," said Mina Andreeva, Spokeswoman for the European Commission, at a press conference on Wednesday.

Warsaw to send a reply

On Friday, 28 July, the Court of Justice of the European Union decided to order an immediate halt to all logging in the protected areas of the Białowieża Forest. It is also the interim measure requested by the European Commission. The Polish Ministry of the Environment said on Monday that operations in the Białowieża Forest would continue. The Minister of the Environment Jan Szyszko announced that Poland would reply to the European Commission’s claims about the operations taking place in the forest by 4 August.

The procedure against Poland

The rule of law procedure launched back in 2016 by the Commission has so far focused on systemic threats to the rule of law resulting from the steps taken to undermine the independence and mandate of the Polish Constitutional Court, as well as from the amendment to the Act on common courts of law. On Saturday 31 July, the European Commission announced the launch of proceedings against Poland, triggered by the publication of the Act on common courts of law, which violates European regulations, in the country’s official law gazette. Earlier, on 19 July, the Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans warned that the European Commission was close to triggering Article 7 of the Treaty on the European Union, also known as the “nuclear option” which may ultimately lead to sanctions being imposed on Poland. Article 7 allows for restrictions to be imposed on a Member State, including a suspension of its voting rights in the European Union. However, this would require all EU Member State leaders (save those representing the country concerned) to unanimously acknowledge that the rule of law is being violated.

Źródło: tvn24.pl/tłumaczenie Intertext.com.pl

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Greenpeace Polska

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