Poland must stop logging in protected Bialowieza forest, court rules

People gather next to the Supreme Court during the

People gather next to the Supreme Court during the

Kaczynski vowed to quickly complete the overhaul of the court system despite President Andrzej Duda's rejection this week of two bills giving the ruling party more power over the Supreme Court and other aspects of the judicial system.

The EU took legal action against Poland over the court reforms on July 26, saying they undermine the independence of judges and break EU rules.

Attempts to bring the judiciary under executive control fit into the overall pattern of Law and Justice Party (PiS) rule since taking power in 2015.

European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said the Polish crisis posed a threat to democratic standards not just in that country but across the 28-nation bloc.

It has routinely criticized Western liberal democracy, often making points similar to those of Hungary's controversial Prime Minister Viktor Orban, another European Union leader from the former communist Eastern Europe who has become notorious for his vision for an "illiberal democracy".

Speaking in Brussels on Wednesday, Timmermans gave one month for Poland to allay concerns.

"An independent judiciary is an essential precondition for membership in our [European] Union", Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement.

"In this past week some things have changed in Poland - and some things have not", Timmermans told a news conference in Brussels after a fresh high-level meeting on the crisis.

The EU executive also chose to launch an infringement proceeding against Poland for breaches of EU law, as soon as a third controversial judiciary law is published - the Law on the Ordinary Courts Organization.

The EU said that it "stands ready" to take action if the Poland Government continues to push through the controversial bills.

Commission officials said previously that the Polish government's overhaul past year of the Constitutional Tribunal undermined its independence and the rule of law. He said he was acting in line with the constitution.

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