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In view of these developments, the EU Commission first initiated the procedure established in 2014 to review the rule of law. On January 28, 2016, the Polish parliament approved a reform of the judiciary that subordinated all public prosecutor’s offices to the Ministry of Justice and made the Minister of Justice the General Prosecutor. On March 9, 2016, the Constitutional Court declared the law on the new organizational form of the highest court to be unconstitutional. The national conservative government refused to recognize the judgment and to publish it in the official gazette. Tens of thousands repeatedly demonstrated against the government’s media and judicial reforms in several cities. In Warsaw on May 7, 2016, over 200,000 people took to the streets for a Europe-friendly course for the country. Against the background of the dispute with the EU, Parliament finally decided on changes to the Constitutional Court Act on 8 July 2016. The changes did not resolve the conflict. On July 27, 2016, the EU Commission Poland set a three-month deadline to make further improvements to the law. At the end of October 2016, the Polish government rejected the demands from Brussels a few hours before the deadline. In December 2016, the Commission asked Poland to respond to allegations of violation of the rule of law by the end of February 2017. However, no agreement was reached. to make further improvements to the law. At the end of October 2016, the Polish government rejected the demands from Brussels a few hours before the deadline. In December 2016, the Commission asked Poland to respond to allegations of violation of the rule of law by the end of February 2017. However, no agreement was reached. to make further improvements to the law. At the end of October 2016, the Polish government rejected the demands from Brussels a few hours before the deadline. In December 2016, according to historyaah, the Commission asked Poland to respond to allegations of violation of the rule of law by the end of February 2017. However, no agreement was reached.

In July 2017, the Polish government accelerated its controversial efforts to reorganize the judiciary with three bills. The first submission concerned the procedure for determining the members of the State Judicial Council, whose appointment is to be largely subject to the control of Parliament in the future. The second submission gave the Minister of Justice the right to decide to appoint or appoint the presidents of the courts of all instances. The third submission involved the termination of the term of office of the judges of the Supreme Court with the transfer of a possible reassessment of the judges to the competence of the Minister of Justice. The drafts were approved by the Sejm and Senate on July 20 and 22, 2017, respectively. The government justified the reform efforts with a lack of efficiency and a lack of transparency within the judiciary. Critics saw the laws as a massive violation of the separation of powers. Protest demonstrations took place in various cities. president A. Duda vetoed the laws on the State Judicial Council and the Supreme Court on July 24, 2017 and launched his own drafts, which were finally passed by Parliament on December 8, 2017. Due to the risk of a serious violation of the rule of law, the EU Commission opened proceedings against Poland on December 20, 2017 in accordance with Article 7 (1) of the EU Treaty. On November 5, 2019, the European Court of Justice ruled that lowering the retirement age of Polish judges was contrary to EU law.

On December 7, 2017, Prime Minister B. Szydło, who had previously survived a motion of no confidence in parliament, announced her resignation. Her successor was sworn in on December 11th, 2017 by M. Morawiecki, previously Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister for Economic Development. Morawiecki kept the ministerial offices. B. Szydło became Deputy Prime Minister. In the European elections in May 2019, the national-conservative PiS won 45.4% of the vote and 26 seats in the European Parliament.

In the parliamentary elections on October 13, 2019, the national conservative PiS emerged as the strongest force with 43.5% (235 of 460 seats). Under party leader J. Kaczyński, the PiS was able to mobilize more voters with a consistent social policy. The right-wing liberal KO came with 27.4% of the vote to 134 seats, the Left List (Lewica) with 12.6% to 49 seats. The turnout was 61%, the highest it has been in 30 years.

In the runoff election for president on July 12, 2020, the counting of votes resulted in a narrow majority of 51% for Andrzej Duda. His liberal challenger Rafał Trzaskowski (* 1972), incumbent mayor of Warsaw, stood for the opposition Civic Platform (PO) and came up with 49%. Election campaigns and elections shaped the country. The ruling party PiS won in rural areas in the southeast and was elected mainly by the elderly. Trzaskowski won votes in the north-west of the country, in the larger cities and among voters under 30 years of age.

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