Reuters International

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission urged Poland on Wednesday to apply over the next three months measures to protect the powers of the Constitutional Tribunal, stepping up pressure on Warsaw's eurosceptic government to respect EU democratic standards.

The move comes after months of largely fruitless diplomacy since Poland's Law and Justice (PiS) party won elections last October and imposed changes on the tribunal and the Polish public broadcaster, which Brussels fear may undermine democratic checks and balances.

Following EU and U.S. pressure, the Polish Parliament last week adopted a new law on the tribunal, but fell short of addressing the concerns raised by Brussels.

"Despite the dialogue pursued with the Polish authorities since the beginning of the year, the Commission considers the main issues which threaten the rule of law in Poland have not been resolved," Frans Timmermans, the deputy head of the European Commission, told a news conference.

He added that the Commission has taken the next step in a disciplinary procedure against Poland on the rule of law.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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