Article 7 proceedings about 'chasing the rabbit' - PM

The European Commission's Article 7 proceedings against Poland may have been inspired by 'a love of the chase', PM Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday in Bratislava, the Slovakian capital.

Morawiecki, in Bratislava for a Visegrad Group (V4: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland) summit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, told a press conference that Poland displayed a will for compromise in the Article 7 issue, while for the Commission it was just "a love of the chase".

Asked about EC Vice-President Frans Timmermans' alleged statement before the Dutch parliament, that it was more important to continue Article 7 proceedings against Poland than hold a vote in the matter in the EP, Morawiecki opined that Timmermans' words "cast doubt on the good intent of the whole procedure."

In December 2017, the EC launched the EU Treaty's Article 7 rule-of-law procedure against Poland over justice reforms which, in its opinion, infringed on the independence of courts, and included changes in retirement rules for Supreme Court judges. The procedure could potentially lead to sanctions for Poland, including the loss of its EU voting rights, but all EU countries would have to agree.