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    EU Parliament Backs Launching Checks on Whether Poland Violates EU Values

    © Sputnik / Alexey Vitvitsky
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Parliament on Thursday voted in favor of activating Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty and start checking Poland's compliance with EU values over Warsaw's judiciary reforms.

    "The European Parliament urged EU governments on Thursday to swiftly determine whether Poland is at risk of a serious breach of EU values and if so, to propose solutions. By 422 to 147 and 48 abstentions, plenary backed the EU Commission’s proposal to activate Article 7 (1) of the EU Treaty (clear risk of a serious breach of EU values), and to ask Poland to address the risk," the parliament said in a statement.

    The lawmakers also called on the EU Council of Ministers “to undertake swift action in accordance with the provisions set out” in Article 7(1) as well as provide the parliament with all the information about the taken measures.

    The implementation of Article 7 may lead to the suspension of "certain of the rights deriving from the application of the Treaties to the Member State in question, including the voting rights of the representative of the government of that Member State in the Council."

    READ MORE: Why Poland's Resistance to Second-Class EU Status May Lead to Its Exit From Bloc

    In December, the European Commission proposed to the Council of the European Union to trigger Article 7(1) of the Treaty on European Union over a risk of Poland's breach of the rule of law. Triggering the article will mean launching procedures that could result in Poland losing EU voting rights. The Commission's commitment to act was reaffirmed by its First Vice-President Frans Timmermans on February 27.

    Poland has been criticized by the European Union since summer over its ongoing judicial reform, which, according to Brussels, poses a threat to the separation of powers in the country.

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