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Juncker: EU unlikely to trigger ‘rule of law’ over Polish media law

Jean-Claude Juncker at the inaugural meeting of the Dutch presidency

Jean-Claude Juncker at the inaugural meeting of the Dutch presidency

The EU is unlikely to take action against Poland over its new media law under the ‘rule of law’ mechanism that could ultimately lead to the country losing its EU voting rights, according to EU president Jean-Claude Juncker.

Juncker, in the Netherlands to mark the inauguration of the Dutch presidency of the EU Council, told a news conference that the EC was in discussion with Poland and he did not wish to speculate about initiating the rule of law mechanism, which allows the European Commission to apply pressure on member states to rescind measures that threaten European values.

Referring to implementation of the mechanism, also known as Article 7, Juncker said that he did not believe the EC would “get to that point”.

The EC will discuss Poland’s media law at a meeting next week. The move follows the introduction of a media law by Poland’s new Law and Justice party government that allows it to replace the management of public radio and TV stations without notice or consultation.

Earlier this week, EU digital economy commissioner Gunther Oettinger hinted that the controversial law could trigger action under the mechanism in an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.