MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The commission opened an inquiry this week into whether newly amended Polish laws, empowering the country’s government to replace and appoint the heads of public television and radio stations, correspond to the European Union’s rules on law and order.
"It doesn’t make sense to draw the attention to the application of Article 7 [of the Treaty on European Union]," Juncker told reporters, echoing his previous remarks attempting to play down the crisis.
Article 7 suspends an EU member's rights in the 28-member bloc if it is found guilty of "serious and persistent" rule of law violations, including the state’s voting rights.
The European Commission is currently in a "normal" and "technical" phase of checking its concerns related to rights issues in Poland, Juncker said.
The commission has entered a "phase, a normal phase, we would even say a technical phase, we have some doubts… we are checking if yes or no the doubts are justified," he said.
Additional powers accorded by legal amendments signed by Polish President Andrzej Duda early this year include replacing and appointing civil service directors.
Additionally, critics charge expanded numbers of tribunal judges required to hear most vital cases would enable the Law and Justice party to influence the tribunal through judges appointed last month.
This week European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans launched a preliminary review of whether the new Polish laws were in breach with the EU rule of law.
An assessment of an ongoing dialogue between the European Commission and Poland on the controversial bills is expected by mid-March.