Europe

Official: EU finds Poland amiss on rule of law

  • European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. A senior European Union official on Wednesday said the bloc has found that Poland's government is amiss on the rule of law and has taken a step toward sanctions. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. A senior European Union official on Wednesday said the bloc has found that Poland's government is amiss on the rule of law and has taken a step toward sanctions. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

  • European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans listens to questions during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. A senior European Union official on Wednesday said the bloc has found that Poland's government is amiss on the rule of law and has taken a step toward sanctions. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans listens to questions during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. A senior European Union official on Wednesday said the bloc has found that Poland's government is amiss on the rule of law and has taken a step toward sanctions. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

  • European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. A senior European Union official on Wednesday said the bloc has found that Poland's government is amiss on the rule of law and has taken a step toward sanctions. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. A senior European Union official on Wednesday said the bloc has found that Poland's government is amiss on the rule of law and has taken a step toward sanctions. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

A senior European Union official says the bloc has found that Poland's government is amiss on the rule of law and has taken a step toward sanctions.

EU Commissioner Frans Timmermans said Wednesday that the EU Commission has adopted an opinion criticizing Poland's conservative government for its actions relating to the Constitutional Tribunal which have paralyzed the key court. This means that EU leaders have found months of negotiations with Warsaw unsatisfactory and it brings the standoff closer to sanctions for Warsaw.

In January, the commission opened a multi-step procedure checking whether Poland respects the rule of law. It could potentially lead to stripping Poland of its EU voting rights.