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Safeguarding the rule of law

Die polnische Premierministerin Beata Szydło im Januar 2016 in Warschau, Bild: P. Tracz/ KPRM, gemeinfrei

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło in Warsaw in January 2016, Picture: P. Tracz/ KPRM, public domain

Andreas Marchetti


The European Commission activates its procedures to safeguard the rule of law in Poland. What does this mean in practice?

The 2014 « framework to safeguard the rule of law in the European Union » is based on Art. 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). It aims at countering threats to the fundamental values of the Union (Art. 2 TEU). The framework foresees threes consecutive stages:

1. Assessment of the situation by the Commission and inauguration of a structured Dialoge with the concerned member state.
2. Formation of recommendations by the Commission.
3. Monitoring of member state’s efforts by the Commission within a fixed time limit.

In case these measures do not lead to satisfactory results, the Commission can launch the procedure according to Art. 7 TEU, potentially leading up to the revocation of voting rights for the member state of concern..

The prcedure is described in details in COM(2014) 158 final. See also the Commission’s Press Release of 11 March 2014.


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