French president Francois Hollande said in a France Inter radio interview that Brussels ought to take a hard line against EU members who are governed by right-wing parties. Such as Poland.
–EU membership can be suspended because Europe has treaty-guaranteed legal measures which may be applied to prevent violations of democratic principles, Hollande said.
He also added that “when media freedoms are threatened, or constitutions or laws are violated, Europe cannot act simply as a safety net, but ought to implement procedures to eliminate such countries due to their violations.”
Hollande is in favor of far-reaching monitoring and “preventive control” over proposed changes to Polish laws. The European Commission began the “rule of law protective procedure” on December 13 against Poland due to the Constitutional Tribunal confusion.
In 2000, 14 EU member states introduced political sanctions against Austria for 8 months after Austria’s ruling coalition invited Joerg Haider’s Freedom Party. EU countries froze official contacts with Austrian government representatives. However, as Die Welt wrote just before the sanctions were lifted, European Commission maintained normal relations with Austria’s representatives. Which is why it undertook to mediate in the matter of restrictions.
Haider offended some EU countries by praising Nazi labor policies and claiming that concentration camps were ordinary prison camps. He died in a car crash in 2008.
Hollande’s current comments appear as his popularity is dramatically decreasing. According to recent polls, 74% of the French do not want him or his predecessor Sarkozy to run for election in 2017.
A survey published last month by Le Parisien, 56% intend to support Alain Juppe. 38% would support the current PM Manuel Valls or the National Front leader Marine Le Pen.