The willingness of the Commission to use the Rule of Law Framework is a positive step towards a more serious approach by the EU to speak out and hold its own member states to account on their human rights records.
Brussels – 13 January 2016
The announcement by the European Commission that it will carry out a preliminary assessment on recent changes to the Polish Constitutional Tribunal – under the Rule of Law Framework – reflects an important step by the EU towards upholding human rights in the region, says Amnesty International.
“Amnesty International has repeatedly called for decisive action from the European Commission to address serious human rights concerns in the past, particularly in the case of Hungary,” says Iverna McGowan, Head of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office. “The willingness of the Commission to use the Rule of Law Framework is a positive step towards a more serious approach by the EU to speak out and hold its own member states to account on their human rights records.”
The Framework, created in March 2014, allows the Commission to enter into a dialogue with an EU country to prevent the escalation of systemic threats to the rule of law and human rights within that member state. If this dialogue fails to resolve the issues raised, the Commission may move to activate a mechanism within Article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union, which could lead to voting rights in the European Council being removed from that specific country.
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