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European Commission to open new infringement procedure against Poland

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European Commission to open new infringement procedure against Poland

The European Commission is to open a new infringement procedure against Poland over a controversial law that calls for the convening of a committee of inquiry into Russian influence.

A letter asking for further information is to be sent to Warsaw, European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis announced on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman clarified that the notice will be sent on Thursday.

Critics accuse the conservative Law and Justice party (PiS) government of aiming to discredit opposition leader and former premier Donald Tusk with the law a few months before the parliamentary elections in the autumn.

According to the Polish law, a committee of inquiry is to examine whether public officials succumbed to Russian influence between 2007 and 2022 and made decisions that were detrimental to the country’s security.

This includes, for example, the conclusion of contracts that could favour Russian influence and the disclosure of relevant information to third parties.

After criticism from the European Union and the United States, Polish President Andrzej Duda on Friday proposed changes to the legislation which he signed into law just days earlier.

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Under the new proposals, the commission will not be able to impose penalties. One such penalty is the power to ban people from public office for up to 10 years.

Tusk was head of the Polish government from 2007 to 2014 and served as president of the European Council in Brussels from 2014 until 2019.

The PiS government accuses him, among other things, of concluding unfavourable gas contracts with Russia.

Countries that receive an infringement notice from Brussels usually have two months to respond.

The commission can take member states whose national laws repeatedly fail to comply with EU law to court.

European Commission to open new infringement procedure against Poland

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