BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Poland's draft and already adopted laws reforming the judiciary create a systemic threat to the rule of law in Poland, the First Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans told European Parliament on Monday.
Poland has been in a deepening dispute with Brussels and other European Union states over upholding the rule of law since the nationalist-minded, eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) party won power in late 2015.
PiS denies that it is undermining democratic standards in the largest ex-communist EU country but Brussels - along with many other member states, the Polish opposition and rights activists - has been sounding the alarm since late 2015.
"I have to say very clearly to you today, the Commission is of the opinion that these laws do create a threat to the rule of law, a systemic threat to the rule of law in Poland. I want to underline that," Timmermans said.
(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski and Lily Cusack)