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Could Poland be kicked out of the EU? Donald Tusk issues ultimatum

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Poland's future in the EU has been thrown into doubt after Donald Tusk blasted that “Poland is not needed for the EU”, reported Express. Could Poland be kicked out of the European bloc?

European Council President Donald Tusk, the former Polish Prime Minister, has declared that his home country’s position in the European Union is under a “question mark”.

Brussels is threatening to punish Poland over the ruling party’s controversial plans to exert more control over Poland's judiciary.

In a shock statement, Mr Tusk said: "There is a question mark over Poland's European future today.
“I do understand emotions of Poles who are concerned about courts, or Poland's future in the EU."

He added: "It smells like an introduction to an announcement that Poland does not need the European Union and that Poland is not needed for the EU.
“I am afraid we are closer to that moment.”

Mr Tusk’s statement has sparked concerns that the EU could end Poland’s membership amid escalating tensions between Brussels and Warsaw.

Could Poland be kicked out of the EU? The simply answer is no. There is no defined process within the EU’s rulebook that allows the bloc to expel unruly member states.

But there are protocols put in place that give the EU the power to chastise member states if they fall out of line.

Last week European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker threatened to strip away Poland’s right to vote on EU matters by invoking Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty for the first time in history.

He said: “If the Polish government goes ahead with undermining the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law in Poland, we will have no other choice than to trigger Article 7.”

It would take at least of third of the EU’s 28 member states to back Article 7 in order to impose sanctions and suspend voting rights..

It can only triggered if there is a "clear risk of a serious breach by a Member State of the values referred to in Article 2”.

Currently the only way for a country to exit the EU is if it voluntarily decides to trigger Article 50 as Britain has done.

Professor Zdzisław Krasnodębski, an MEP for Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, said the situation is becoming increasingly confrontational.

He told Onet.pl: “The European Commission’s declaration, demonstrates the institution’s growing determination to move from words to actions and to try to punish Poland.”

He added: “The Commission turning to the European Council about initiating Article 7 could take place, even if the Commission is sceptical towards just how much it could realistically punish Poland.”

Professor Krasnodębski also underlined that Poland’s stance indicated that the nation was ready for conflict.

“Generally the time in which they tried to talk and negotiate is unfortunately running out, as the atmosphere worsens,” he said.

“There is no tactic on the Polish side – which Hungary employed – to step back and soften its position. Because of this we are now seeing an escalation.”

He added: “It seems that on issues that do not correlate to our fundamental systems, our sovereignty and nation’s organisation, we should foremost be trying to talk.”

Read more at express.co.uk

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