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    Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski holds a joint press conference after a tripartite meeting at the Ankara Palace on August 25, 2016

    Warsaw Calls EU Threats to Sanction Poland Over Judiciary Reforms 'Speculation'

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    Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski called on Friday EU threats to introduce sanctions against Warsaw over controversial reforms of the country's justice system, which violate the judiciary independence, a "speculation."

    WARSAW (Sputnik) Earlier this week, a number of EU states called on Warsaw to renew talks regarding reforms of its justice system, which the EU Commission considered to be a violation of EU fundamental values. In case the Polish authorities failed to review the reforms, the European Union threatened to suspend a number of Poland's rights within the bloc under Article 7 (on respect and promotion of EU values) of the Treaty on European Union.

    "The rhetoric of the European Commission creates a wrong image of Poland. It stigmatizes us. There is no need in such actions," Waszczykowski said in an interview with German Die Welt newspaper, adding that threats of triggering Article 7 of the EU Treaty was "pure speculation."

    The Polish diplomacy head also recalled that the European Commission had no authority to initiate such a procedure.

    At the same time Waszczykowski stressed that Poland's relations with the European Union remained good and solid, while the trade was thriving.

    Polish authorities and the European Commission have been engaged in a dispute over alleged violation of European standards by Warsaw since 2015, when the Polish government adopted a number of controversial laws on police, media and the courts, including one that might influence the independence of the Constitutional Tribunal Judges. The Constitutional Tribunal ruled on the new legislation as unconstitutional, which the Polish government did not publish to avoid legitimizing the ruling.

    The European Parliament passed its first resolution on the situation in Poland in April 2016. In July, the second resolution gave Poland three months to review the new laws.

    In mid-January, the Venice Commission, an advisory body of the Council of Europe authorized to assist countries in constitutional affairs and improve democratic institutions, voiced concern over the situation around Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal, saying that the court was subjected to pressure from the political majority.

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