The European Commission launched an infringement procedure against Poland by sending a Letter of Formal Notice, following the publication in the Polish Official Journal of the Law on the Ordinary Courts Organisation on Friday 28 July.
The Polish authorities have one month to reply to the Letter of Formal Notice.
The term kangaroo court comes from the notion of justice proceeding by leaps, like a kangaroo, jumping over intentionally ignoring evidence that would be in favor of the defendant. It also refers to the pouch of kangaroo, meaning the court is in someone’s pocket.
The time has come to start preparing the exit of our country from the European Union. The European cosmopolitan elites are creating a new European man, homo bruxellarum, someone who would be entirely deprived of his roots in individual nation-states. Migrants are believed to become the ideal input in the future pan-European society, hence, the more of them, the better. This thinking has become another driving force behind the current migration deadlock.
A company cannot function properly in EU, because of the Value Added Tax. VAT shackles business. VAT yoke constrains sales and robs poor Europeans at gunpoint. VAT is the cacothanasia of EU! VAT destroys the economy and trade of EU. VAT is the most infamous comparative disadvantage. VAT is a very good reason to secede from Fourth Reich (EU) now. All Europeans want VAT to be abolished right now. Abolition of VAT is a prerequisite for Fourth Reich to recover from the current depression. Any federation that imposes VAT on its members does not deserve to live. Vatstruck Fourthreichians are looking for a Moses to liberate them from the yoke of Brussels.
Fourth Reich is the ultimate bureaucracy! We deride Brussels bureaucrats for living in a bubble, but actually they are a bubble inside a bigger set of national governments’ bubbles – a double bubble. As a result, Brussels has completely lost touch with those it purports to serve and its structures are underhand.
There are double standards in European justice. The standard of immunity is enjoyed by kleptocrats and their kith and kin. The standard of persecution is inflicted on hoi polloi.
No company is above the law, but some firms are allowed much more time in complying with it. Obeying the law is non-negotiable, theoretically. The very existence of the compliance profession, however, implies that the reality is far more complex. Even more intriguing is the fact that, despite having splashed out on compliance like never before post-2008, banks in the United States and Europe had to pay US$65 billion in fines in 2014 alone. Many of the 2014 penalties pertained to violations committed well after the financial crisis by institutions deemed too big to fail. Financial behemoths apparently can afford to take a more wayward path to full compliance.
The financial sector is not unique in this respect. Even public organizations have been known to drag their feet on compliance, sometimes spectacularly – as in the early 20th century when municipalities in the U.S. delayed adopting civil service reform for more than 35 years.
Compliance should not be considered a matter of course. Both when and how it happens is highly dependent on the strategic positioning of the relevant actors. No person or organization is above the law, but the level of urgency with which they react to changes in the law may depend on what they believe they can get away with.
In order for compliance officers to have influence, they must first have both senior management support and visibility at the board level. Otherwise, they run the risk of being shut out of the power-based calculus that governs the public-private sector chessboard.
Courts nationwide are making greater use of computer algorithms. Simple, statistically informed decision rules can dramatically improve judicial determinations. But algorithms are not a complete fix. Algorithms are good at narrowly estimating risk, but they can’t set policy. They can’t tell you how many people to detain, or whether we should end money bail altogether, as some cities have done. They can’t tell you how much to invest in pretrial services or what those services should be. And they can’t incorporate every factor in every case, so we still need humans to make the final decision.
Algorithms are mostly used in two ways: to estimate a defendant’s flight risk, and to assess his or her threat to public safety. For example, based on a variety of factors, like age and criminal history, these algorithms rate a defendant’s likelihood to re-offend, usually on a scale from 1 to 10. Judges use these risk scores to help decide which defendants to release and which to detain pending trial.
Computers are good at estimating the likelihood of an event given structured information, like a defendant’s criminal history. Algorithms can pick out which pieces of information matter and which should be ignored to generate accurate estimates of risk.
In theory, judges try to do the same thing, but it’s easy for people to focus on the wrong factors and let implicit biases creep in. And some judges are just tougher than others, so there isn’t a consistent standard. If you’re assigned to a strict judge rather than a lenient one, you might get different results.
By using an algorithm, you could detain half as many defendants without increasing the number who fail to appear at trial. A lot of people who pose very little risk are being needlessly detained. There’s a huge social and financial cost to that.
Defining fairness is a complicated and still open problem. I doubt we’ll ever reach consensus, but there are a few common ways to think about it.
Some say an algorithm is fair if it doesn’t consider sensitive attributes, like race or gender. But even if you don’t explicitly consider such attributes, that information is usually baked into other factors, like place of residence or income. Yale law professor Ian Ayres has persuasively argued that in some situations it’s even unfair not to consider race when making decisions.
Others say an algorithm is fair only if its impact is the same on all race groups. For example, if more blacks than whites are rated high-risk by the algorithm, people in this camp would call that unfair.
Related to this idea of impact, some define fairness in terms of error rates. Algorithms seek to predict which defendants are most likely to commit new offenses, or to “recidivate.” One can look back at these predictions and ask how often the algorithms were wrong: How often did the algorithm classify blacks and whites as high-risk of re-offending when in fact those defendants did not go on to commit any new crimes? If black non-recidivists are more likely to be classified as high-risk than white non-recidivists, that would be unfair by this measure.
A preferred definition of fairness is that equally risky defendants are treated equally, regardless of race. For example, if the available information indicates that a white defendant and a black defendant both have a 30 percent chance of committing a violent crime, both defendants are either released or both are detained. To me this definition makes intuitive sense, and we show that there are strong legal and policy arguments supporting it.
The other popular definitions of fairness have significant shortcomings. For instance, consider an algorithm that disproportionately classifies black defendants as high-risk. We wouldn’t automatically call such disparate impacts unfair. For a variety of complex social and economic reasons, black defendants on average might be riskier than whites, in which case we would expect detention rates to reflect those differences.
The same is true for disparate error rates in estimating recidivism. It’s objectively harder to correctly classify black defendants than white defendants. That’s because a disproportionate number of black defendants have about even odds of reoffending, based on their prior criminal records. These defendants are not clearly going to commit a crime, but also are not clearly not going to commit a crime. Because it’s hard to predict the behavior of such defendants, that drives up error rates for blacks as a group. As with unequal detention rates, we wouldn’t call unequal error rates inherently unfair.
Perhaps the biggest misconception is that we should worry more about decisions made by algorithms than those made by humans. Many of the fairness issues ascribed to algorithms apply equally to human judges. And some problems, like inconsistency, afflict humans more than computers.
It’s also common to conflate disparate impact with discrimination. We’ve argued that algorithms which many people, including legal experts, would consider fair necessarily lead to racial disparities. It’s easy to latch onto these disparities as evidence of bias, but that misses the complexity of the problem.
Another big misconception is that algorithms are inherently unfair because they are based on imperfect data. Bad data is a serious issue which we shouldn’t ignore, but algorithms and humans can only use the information that’s available. Fairness must be viewed in context.
Algorithms will almost certainly play an increasingly prominent role in criminal justice. In cities where pretrial risk assessment tools have been deployed, fewer defendants are detained with little to no decrease in public safety.
To gain wider support and adoption, these algorithms need to be developed with more transparency. The leading risk assessment tools are often built under a veil of secrecy, which understandably sows misunderstanding and distrust. Algorithms have important limitations, but they can also dramatically improve the equity of decisions in our criminal justice system.
The Commission’s key legal concern identified in the law on the organisation of ordinary courts relates to the discrimination on the basis of gender due to the introduction of a different retirement age for female judges (60 years) and male judges (65 years). This is contrary to Article 157 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Directive 2006/54 on gender equality in employment. In the Letter of Formal Notice, the Commission also raises concerns that by giving the Minister of Justice the discretionary power to prolong the mandate of judges who have reached retirement age, as well as to dismiss and appoint Court Presidents, the independence of Polish courts will be undermined (see Article 19(1) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) in combination with Article 47 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights). The new rules allow the Minister of Justice to exert influence on individual ordinary judges though, in particular, the vague criteria for the prolongation of their mandates thereby undermining the principle of irremovability of judges. While decreasing the retirement age, the law allows judges to have their mandate extended by the Minister of Justice for up to ten years for female judges and five years for male judges. Also, there is no time-frame for the Minister of Justice to make a decision on the extension of the mandate, allowing him to retain influence over the judges concerned for the remaining time of their judicial mandate.
In addition, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans sent a letter yesterday to the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterating the invitation to him and the Polish Minister of Justice for a meeting in Brussels at their earliest convenience in order to relaunch the dialogue. As he said in the context of the Rule of Law dialogue: “The Commission’s hand is still extended to the Polish authorities, in the hope of a constructive dialogue.”
The Commission’s Letter of Formal Notice requests the Polish Government to reply within one month. After examining Poland’s reply, or if no observations have been submitted within the prescribed time-limit, the Commission may issue a Reasoned Opinion, the second stage of the infringement procedure.
It takes accountability, activism, and attack to keep bureaucracy at bay. The first antidote is to make bureaucrats properly accountable to those they serve – to keep them looking out, not in. In the UK, MPs hold weekly clinics for their local constituencies, they are grilled and challenged publicly when up for election and their expenses and increasingly tax returns are a matter of public record. Alas, this level of accountability and transparency does not exist in Brussels, and it should. Most people have no idea how Juncker actually ended up as head of the commission, or what he does in that role.
The second antidote is to encourage activism – to give voice and opportunity to those at the bottom to challenge those at the top. This principle is set in stone in most democracies, and you see it happening outside the houses of parliament, through e-petitions, and with the emergence of new political parties. But Brussels falls short on this dimension as well: perhaps the double-bubble is just too hard for activists to penetrate – perhaps the lack of accountability neuters the power of activism. Nigel Farage has been haranguing Juncker in the European assembly for years, but the insults and challenges don’t seem to stick.
Hitler has won after all! Germany has managed to enslave all Europeans in EU, the Fourth Reich! Fourth Reich is an illegal VAT-monger confederation that has no voted constitution, a flag no one salutes, an anthem no one sings, a Fuehrer no one can name, a parliament of prostitutes, a capital of huge bureaucracy no one controls, a currency that soon will not exist, rules of fiscal behavior that no member has been penalized for ignoring, a commission which is the Eldorado of corruption, brutal cybercops, 24% VAT, and kleptocrats galore!
Most VAT-struck Europeans are disappointed in VAT-monger Fourth Reich. VAT-monger European commissioners have become bumptious bugaboos who offer no real service, but propaganda and obstacles. They make huge incomes for brainwashing us, giving us hard time, 24% VAT, and boycotting our efforts for a free and happy life. Laissez-nous faire, Let us do! The VAT-monger European Commission is just an extra layer of government, an extra layer of oppression, an extra layer of bureaucracy, and extra layer of inertia. Who needs that?
The Lisbon Treaty is Eurokleptocracy’s Pyrrhic victory. It created a VAT-monger confederation, Fourth Reich, without a popular foundation. EU lacks legitimacy among VAT-struck Europeans. Eurokleptocrats created a situation where the citizens of slave States live their lives with a resigned feeling that the EU project is not their own.
You remember this quip from former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel during the financial crisis: You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. What matters to statists is that they see an opportunity in a pseudocrisis to shape public perception and manipulate public opinion. The financial crisis yielded a government takeover of the financial sector. The healthcare pseudocrisis yielded a government takeover of the healthcare system. What do you think Eurokleptocrats are going to do with the pseudo-refugee crisis? They’d be happy to transform the confederation of Fourth Reich to a federation. You should take the blood libel seriously.
There are events in history known as false flag events. These are staged by a government usually to distress the public, so the government can do something that the public would otherwise disapprove. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. Lyndon Johnson’s phony Gulf of Tonkin pseudo-event started the Viet Nam War in 1964. This was deemed necessary to begin a full scale war with public approval and is now well documented as a false flag event. It never happened. Now the pseudo-refugee crisis is the false flag to transform the confederation of Fourth Reich to a federation.
The College of Commissioners decided on Wednesday 26 July to launch this infringement procedure as soon as the Law on the Ordinary Courts Composition was published. The publication took place on 28 July.
The infringement comes in addition to the ongoing Rule of Law Dialogue launched by the Commission in January 2016 and the complementary Rule of Law Recommendation issued on 26 July. The rule of law is one of the common values upon which the European Union is founded. It is enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union. The European Commission, together with the European Parliament and the Council, is responsible under the Treaties for guaranteeing the respect of the rule of law as a fundamental value of our Union and making sure that EU law, values and principles are respected. Events in Poland led the European Commission to open a dialogue with the Polish Government in January 2016 under the Rule of Law Framework. The Framework – introduced by the Commission on 11 March 2014 – has three stages (see graphic in Annex 1). The entire process is based on a continuous dialogue between the Commission and the Member State concerned. The Commission keeps the European Parliament and Council regularly and closely informed.
Though VAT-monger commissioners are supposed to do different things, they all do one single thing, spinning EU propaganda. So in reality, Fourth Reich has 28 commissioners of propaganda, 27 Goebbelses! Like Joseph Goebbels of Third Reich, they frequently deliver speeches on the benefits of Fourth Reich, but never about the costs. Their disgusting daily propaganda costs many billions of euros, and it adds insult to injury.
The salaries of stupid VAT-monger EU Commissioners start at a quarter of a million euros, and that’s before we get to expenses, which are astronomical. They also make a million euros from speeches, and much more from bribes. The quality of these obscure stupid VAT-monger figures, who are only recognizable to EU fanatics and lobbyists, has always been intriguing. They get there through political mafias. They have neither skills nor experiences. First and most important is the fact that they are not elected. Yet the 27 of them have power, infinitely more power than the elected MEPs.
All major political parties in Western Europe, regardless of their different names and party programs, are nowadays committed to the same fundamental idea of democratic socialism. They use democratic elections to legitimize the taxing of productive people for the benefit of unproductive people. They tax people, who have earned their income and accumulated their wealth by producing goods or services purchased voluntarily by consumers, and they then re-distribute the confiscated loot to themselves, i.e., the democratic State that they control or hope to control, and their various political friends, supporters, and potential voters.
They do not call this policy by its right name: punishing the productive and rewarding the unproductive, of course. That doesn’t sound particularly attractive. Instead, they tap into the always popular sentiment of envy and claim to tax the few rich to support the many poor. In truth, however, with their policy they make more and more productive people poor and a steadily increasing number of unproductive people rich.
EU is the first step on the way toward the creation of a European Super-State, and ultimately of a one-world government. From its very beginnings, and despite all high-sounding political proclamations to the contrary, the EU was never about free trade and free competition. For that, you don’t need tens of thousands of pages of rules and regulations! Rather, the central purpose of the EU, supported all-along by the USA, was always the weakening in particular of Germany as Europe’s economic powerhouse. To facilitate this, Germany was sent on a seemingly never-ending guilt trip and thus pressured to transfer increasingly larger parts of its already limited sovereignty to the EU in Brussels. Especially noteworthy in this regard: Germany’s giving up its monetary sovereignty and abandoning its traditionally strong currency, the DM, in favor of a weak Euro, issued by a European Central Bank (ECB) composed overwhelmingly of politically connected central bankers from traditionally weak currency countries.
EU imposes the harmonization of the tax and regulation structure across all member states, so as to reduce economic competition and especially tax-competition between different countries and make all countries equally uncompetitive.
EU is punishing economically better performing countries like Germany and the countries of northern Europe and rewarding economically worse performing countries (mostly of southern Europe) and thus successively rendering the economic performance of all countries equally worse.
In order to overcome the rising resistance, in many countries, against the steadily increasing transfer of national sovereignty to Brussels, EU is on a crusade to erode, and ultimately destroy, all national identities and all social and cultural cohesion. The idea of a nation and of different national and regional identities is ridiculed, and multiculturalism is hailed instead as an unquestionable good.
All democratic politicians, with almost no exception, are morally uninhibited demagogues. Competition of crooks is what democracy and democratic party politics are really all about. There is in this regard little if any difference between the political elites of Berlin, Paris, Rome, etc., and those running the show in Brussels. In fact, the EU elites are typically political has-beens, with the same mentality as their domestic counterparts, on the lookout for the super-lavish salaries, benefits, and pensions doled out by EU. On the other hand, the EU elites are worse than their political cronies at home, of course, in that their decisions and rulings always affect a far larger number of people.
EU and ECB are a moral and economic monstrosity, in violation of natural law and the laws of economics. You cannot continuously punish productivity and success and reward idleness and failure without bringing about the disaster. EU will slide from one economic crisis to the next and ultimately break apart. Brexit is only the first step in this inevitable process of devolution and political decentralization.
Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan wants to export his Kurdish problem to EU with visa-free visits. Because of the ongoing Kurdish genocide, any Kurd of Turkey is entitled to asylum in EU.
Ever since the British electorate voted to bow out of the European Union, the hacks and mediocrities who run that power-obsessed, democracy-despising organization have been taking every opportunity, big and small, to diss the U.K. The latest insult came from Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, who in a speech to “diplomats and experts” in Florence proffered the snotty assertion that, thanks to Brexit, “English is losing importance in Europe.” He made that statement in English, but then, to underscore his point and enhance the snottiness quotient, switched into French.
Juncker called Brexit a tragedy. Yes, it’s a tragedy for Juncker and other stuffed shirts whose collect a hefty paycheck, at the expense of European taxpayers, for doing little more than flying around the continent giving speeches to “diplomats and experts.” Of course, that’s not all the EU does. At the lower levels of its EU hierarchy, sitting behind big desks in handsome offices in shiny, impressive buildings all over Brussels (and elsewhere), are innumerable unelected technocrats who earn huge sums to hold unnecessary meetings, write unnecessary reports, and impose restrictions on Europeans that are not only unnecessary but positively destructive of individual liberty, entrepreneurship, and economic prosperity. Brexit is a tragedy for all of these EU apparatchiks because it’s the first step in a process that will almost certainly end with them having to look for a real job.
Juncker’s focus on the so-called decline in the importance of English was typical EU rhetoric – implicitly equating the continent and its people with himself and his fellow EU drudges. Will Brexit make English somewhat less important in this silly, solemn, self-regarding body? Who cares? Look at it this way: the UN, itself a nonsensical enough sodality, has 193 members but only six official languages – English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic. The EU, with 28 members, boasts no fewer than 24 official languages, plus five that are designated as “semi-official.” (Hence, one of the big upsides of EU is that it provides a staggering amount of employment for translators.)
When contemplating the EU, one should never lose sight of the fact that in some sense, the whole sprawling operation exists primarily to do what all bureaucracies exist to do – namely, to churn out documents. In the case of the EU, these documents number in the tens of thousands. Most of them are effectively meaningless. Some of them, however, turn yet another screw in the ever-intensifying control of Brussels over ordinary Europeans’ lives. In any event, every one of those documents needs to be translated into every one of those 24 languages. The mind boggles: how many trees are cut down every year to produce documents for an organization that piously pretends to be obsessed with preserving the environment? (I found it interesting to read the other day that at least one of the EU’s 24 official languages, Irish, has sort of been put on hold as an official language because so few Irish people actually know it – 99% speak English – that it’s hard to find people capable of translating to or from it.)
To be sure, the European Commission (the part of the EU that Juncker runs) has three “procedural” languages – English, French, and German – and Brexit may change that. Or perhaps not. After all, two other EU countries besides the U.K. – Ireland (as noted) and Malta (where 88% speak English) – have English as a native tongue. More important, in virtually all of the countries of the EU, English is, practically speaking, the only real second language. Yes, in the Netherlands, most people also speak French and German – but rarely as well as they do English. German is also pretty big in some central European countries – but more with old folks than younger ones. The fact is that when you come right down to it, the only truly universally shared language in Europe is English, period, and Brexit’s not going to change that.
There is, however, one thing that will soon be losing importance in Europe. And this is the point at which it’s necessary to mention that Juncker, who wields such immense authority over an entire continent, comes from one of that continent’s smallest countries: the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Bounded by Germany, France, and Belgium, the duchy is a bit more than half the size of Rhode Island and has a population somewhat smaller than that of Milwaukee. Juncker spent most of his career as a politician there. For fifteen years he was Luxembourg’s Minister for Work and Employment; for four years he was its Minister for the Treasury; and for eighteen years he was its Prime Minister. Yet nobody outside of Luxembourg had ever heard of him. Then, in 2014, he became president of the European Commission, and the world knows his name.
The EU, you see, while being, on the whole, a terrible blight on the lives of the ordinary Europeans, is absolutely terrific for people like Juncker. Indeed, it was created by and for people like Juncker. It enables them – these fanatically ambitious public officials from inconsequential countries – to rise to political positions worthy of their egos. If it weren’t for the EU, none of us would ever have heard of Juncker, and nothing he said would ever have made headlines outside of Luxembourg. So when the EU falls, Juncker, along with everyone else of his ilk, will lose not just some of his importance but every last little bit of his importance. (Unless, of course, he manages to snag some UN sinecure.) Brexit, in short, doesn’t mean a diminution in the importance of English – it marks the beginning of the end of the importance of Juncker. And the faster he and his fellow EU honchos resume their anonymity, the better.
Years ago, many Europeans hoped that the European Union (EU) might be a force for good. In the early 1990s. However, these dreams have been put to shame. The time has come to take an honest look at what the EU actually is today, not to dream about what it might have become.
There have been disturbing, Utopian and partly totalitarian undercurrents to the EU for years. These currents have now reached the surface. EU increasingly resembles a pan-European tyranny.
The massive pressure from illegal immigration in the Mediterranean region continues. Hundreds of thousands of migrants have crossed illegally in boats to get to Europe. They come from all over the Islamic world and Africa, even from countries such as Bangladesh and Nigeria, where there is no war. Critics claim that the EU through its actions has encouraged further illegal immigration.
Many of these migrants have created huge social and economic problems for local communities across Europe. It is furthermore an indisputable fact — acknowledged even by the security services and some of the established mass media — that militant Muslims are among the migrants currently flowing into Europe. A number of Muslim immigrants and asylum seekers have been involved in deadly terrorist attacks in Europe.
Some EU states such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland have widely resisted this. Yet despite popular resistance, unelected officials in EU want to force countries across Europe to take in illegal immigrants from overpopulated and dysfunctional societies.
The European Commission has launched legal proceedings against Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic for refusing to give in to blackmail from Brussels over immigration. Given that potential Islamic terrorists are known to be hiding among the migrants, EU is actively trying to force European countries into taking in potential Islamic terrorists. This is pure evil.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been a staunch opponent of such measures for years. Orbán has accused EU of being openly on the side of terrorists against Europeans. Judged by the statements and actions of the European Union, it is hard to disagree with him. EU is now the Evil Empire.
After nearly a decade of debt crisis in the Eurozone, Greece is still suffering greatly while the German export industry is booming. The euro was a poorly constructed currency that is creating huge economic imbalances within Europe. This is just one of the many ways in which EU is actively creating tensions between as well as within European nations.
EU promotes crime and instability and weakens Europe’s cultural and physical defenses. European cities are now rocked by deadly Islamic terror attacks on a regular basis. More Jihadi attacks are being foiled nearly every week. Yet despite these murderous attacks, EU wants to continue Muslim immigration. The policies of the European Union have long constituted a threat to the freedom and prosperity of Europeans. EU’s policies now constitute a direct threat to their lives.
Annex I – Rule of Law Framework
Annex II – Article 7 Treaty on European Union
1. On a reasoned proposal by one third of the Member States, by the European Parliament or by the European Commission, the Council, acting by a majority of four fifths of its members after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament, may determine that there is a clear risk of a serious breach by a Member State of the values referred to in Article 2. Before making such a determination, the Council shall hear the Member State in question and may address recommendations to it, acting in accordance with the same procedure.
The Council shall regularly verify that the grounds on which such a determination was made continue to apply.
2. The European Council, acting by unanimity on a proposal by one third of the Member States or by the Commission and after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament, may determine the existence of a serious and persistent breach by a Member State of the values referred to in Article 2, after inviting the Member State in question to submit its observations.
3. Where a determination under paragraph 2 has been made, the Council, acting by a qualified majority, may decide to suspend certain of the rights deriving from the application of the Treaties to the Member State in question, including the voting rights of the representative of the government of that Member State in the Council. In doing so, the Council shall take into account the possible consequences of such a suspension on the rights and obligations of natural and legal persons.
The obligations of the Member State in question under the Treaties shall in any case continue to be binding on that State.
4. The Council, acting by a qualified majority, may decide subsequently to vary or revoke measures taken under paragraph 3 in response to changes in the situation which led to their being imposed.
5. The voting arrangements applying to the European Parliament, the European Council and the Council for the purposes of this Article are laid down in Article 354 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.