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EU launches action against Poland to protect judges

The European Union is launching an action against Poland over allegations that laws introduced by the government undermine the independence of judges. The EU’s Executive Commission said on Wednesday that it has sent a letter of formal notice – the first step in a legal action – to Warsaw and wants a reply addressing its concerns within two months. Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans says that disciplinary measures for judges introduced in 2017 appear “to systematically subject judges to the political control of the executive.” Timmermans said the rules have “an obvious, chilling effect on the independence of judges,” AP reports. The commission says it is acting to safeguard the rule of law in Poland.