July 25, 2016 / 10:46 AM / 4 years ago

EU says Poland's changes to constitutional court law raise concerns

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Poland’s changes to the constitutional court law raise new concerns and may trigger a formal reaction by the European Commission, a spokesman for the EU executive said on Monday.

Poland’s parliament on Friday amended the law governing the powers of the constitutional court, in a move the government said addressed concerns that the ruling party had undermined the rule of law but the opposition criticized as not going far enough.

“We know that the law on the functioning of the constitutional tribunal voted on Friday last week does not address a number of important concerns expressed (..) by the European Commission and raises some new ones,” a Commission spokesman told a regular news conference in Brussels.

“The college of commissioners will revert to the matter shortly and consider in the light of all developments the appropriateness of further action under the rule of law framework,” the spokesman added.

The European Commission holds its last meeting before the summer break on July 27.

The Commission earlier this year opened an investigation into whether government policies in Poland threatened the rule of law. The EU probe, which can ultimately lead to the suspension of a member state’s voting rights, is still open.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek

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