Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, January 08, 2016

What is the extent of the reach of EU regulations?

What happens when a state's legislations contradict EU policy?

EU ready to fight Polish media law amid row over values
A senior EU official has threatened legal action against Poland's new conservative government over its controversial media law.

The EU Commissioner for the Digital Economy, Guenther Oettinger, said: "There are solid grounds for us to activate the rule of law mechanism and put Warsaw under monitoring."

Polish MPs have approved a law giving the government direct control over top appointments in public broadcasting.
Poland's public television HQ

It undermines free speech, critics say…

Under the EU's rule of law mechanism, adopted last year, the Commission can escalate pressure on a member state to amend any measure that is considered a "systemic threat" to fundamental EU values.

In the last resort, a state's voting rights in the EU Council… can be suspended. The Commission is the EU's top regulator, enforcing EU treaties.

Media watchdogs in Europe have voiced alarm about the media shake-up. It will put TVP and Polish Radio - which have a huge audience - under the control of a new national media council close to the ruling PiS…

Comparisons have been made with Hungary, whose conservative Fidesz government also clashed with the EU Commission over human rights…

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