European Commission keeping door open to sanctions on Poland

The European Commission says it is keeping the door open to possibly triggering sanctions against Poland despite the Polish president's rejection of parts of a legal overhaul that limits the independence of the courts.

Frans Timmermans, the Commission's vice-president, has welcomed President Andrzej Duda's rejection this week of two contentious bills. But he said Wednesday that other parts of the judicial overhaul passed by lawmakers and accepted by the president "increase significantly the systemic threat to the rule of law."

Duda signed a bill Tuesday giving the justice minister power to name all the heads of lower courts in the country.

Timmermans said the Commission was giving the Polish authorities one month from the day that law takes effect to resolve rule of law conflicts in the country's judicial shakeup.