Dies ist eine HTML Version eines Anhanges der Informationsfreiheitsanfrage 'Rule of Law Hearing of Poland on 11th December 2018'.


 
  
 
 
 

Council of the 
 
 

 European Union 
   
 
Brussels, 27 November 2018 
(OR. en) 
    14621/18 
 
Interinstitutional File: 
 
 
2017/0360(COD) 
LIMITE 
 
JAI 1185 

 
 
FREMP 211 
POLGEN 230 
AG 35 
 
NOTE 
From: 
Presidency 
To: 
Delegations 
No. prev. doc.: 
16007/17; 10354/18; 11458/18; 12060/18 
Subject: 
Rule of Law in Poland / Article 7(1) TEU Reasoned Proposal -  
Hearing of Poland on 11 December 2018 
 
 
I. 
INTRODUCTION 
1. 
On 20 December 2017, the Commission adopted a reasoned proposal with regard to the 
rule of law situation in Poland which it submitted to the Council, thus triggering the 
mechanism set out in Article 7(1) TEU. This was preceded by a dialogue between the 
Commission and Poland since 13 January 2016 which continued in parallel to the 
triggering of the Article 7 procedure. 
2. 
The reasoned proposal (doc. 16007/17) contains a detailed explanatory memorandum as 
well as a proposal for a Council decision under which the Council would (i) determine 
that there is a clear risk of a serious breach by Poland of the rule of law and (ii) make 
recommendations for Poland to bring its judicial reform into line with rule of law 
standards. 
 
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3. 
On 27 February 2018, the Commission presented its reasoned proposal to the Council 
(General Affairs), and informed on the state of play and on the on-going dialogue with 
Poland. 
4. 
Thereafter, the Commission informed the Council on the situation in Poland and on the 
ongoing dialogue on 20 March, 17 April and 14 May 2018. During the information item 
on 14 May 2018, the Commission presented its assessment that, despite some progress, 
key concerns, identified in the Commission’s reasoned proposal, remained unaddressed. 
5. 
At Coreper on 7 June 2018, when discussing the provisional agenda for the meeting of 
the Council (General Affairs) on 26 June 2018, the Commission requested that a 
hearing, which constitutes a necessary step of the process under Article 7(1) TEU1, take 
place at that meeting. Following this request, Poland was heard by the Council (General 
Affairs) on 26 June 2018 in accordance with Article 7(1) TEU. The modalities and the 
substantive scope of this hearing (as set out in 10354/18) were endorsed by Coreper on 
20 June 2018. 
6. 
On 4 July 2018, a majority of delegations requested hearing Poland also during the next 
meeting of the General Affairs Council on 18 September 2018. The updated modalities 
and the substantive scope of the second hearing (as set out in 11458/18) were prepared 
by Coreper on 5 and 12 September 2018. On 18 September 2018, Poland was heard by 
the Council (General Affairs) in accordance with Article 7(1) TEU.  
7. 
On 16 October and 12 November, the Council (General Affairs) took note of the state of 
play regarding the rule of law situation in Poland. The Commission requested that 
another hearing take place at the next meeting of the Council (General Affairs) on 11 
December 2018.  
                                                 
1 
Article 7(1) TEU provides that "before making such a determination, the Council shall hear 
the Member State in question and may address recommendations to it, acting in accordance 
with the same procedure
". 
 
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II.  MODALITIES 
8. 
The hearing foreseen in Article 7 (1) TEU is, essentially, a peer review exercise, which 
will enable Council Members to have a more in-depth exchange with Poland on the key 
concerns identified. Poland will have the possibility to adapt the format of its delegation 
to the specificity of the meeting and will be offered sufficient, up to eight, seats (in a  
3 + 2 + 3 format). 
9. 
It is proposed that the substantive scope of the hearing would cover the topics set out in 
the Annex, which correspond to those on which the Commission regularly informed the 
Council and on which the Reasoned Proposal of the Commission from 20 December 
2017 is based. 
10.  At the outset of the hearing, the Commission will have the possibility to provide a latest 
update on the key areas of concern covered by this hearing. 
11.  Poland will be given the opportunity to make a statement with regard to the said areas. 
12.  Subsequently, delegations will be invited to put up to two questions each to Poland, 
limited to the substantive scope indicated above. One question should not exceed two 
minutes. Poland will be given the opportunity to respond after each question without 
time limitation. If additional clarification is needed, delegations can ask follow-up 
questions, while respecting the same time limit of two minutes. Where necessary, 
Poland will have the possibility to further elaborate its answers in writing. 
13.  At the end, the Commission will be given the opportunity to make observations on the 
facts provided by Poland, and Poland will be given the opportunity to present its own 
observations and remarks. 
14.  The Presidency will then present procedural conclusions. No assessment on the 
substance of the issues will be made at this stage. 
15.  The Council could decide to continue the hearing at a next meeting of the General 
Affairs Council. 
Minutes of the hearing will reflect the procedural conclusions. In addition, a formal 
report will be made by the GSC.
 
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ANNEX 
LIST OF TOPICS FOR THE HEARING 
1. 
Supreme Court: retirement regime of current Supreme Court judges, including the First 
President, and regime for prolongation of judicial mandates. 
2. 
National Council for the Judiciary: election regime of the judges-members of the 
National Council, premature termination of the mandates of the former judges-members. 
3. 
Ordinary Court Judges: retirement regime of current Ordinary Court judges, regime for 
prolongation of judicial mandate and situation of Ordinary Court judges already affected by 
the new retirement regime. 
4. 
Disciplinary regime, including the new autonomous disciplinary chamber in the Supreme 
Court. 
5. 
Extraordinary appeal procedure
6. 
Court Presidents: situations of Court Presidents already affected by the dismissal and 
appointment regime. 
7. 
Constitutional Tribunal: publication of the 2016 judgments and the recomposition of the 
Tribunal, including the procedure to appoint a new president 
 
 
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ANNEX 
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Document Outline