Brussels has launched an unprecedented process against Poland, which could bring sanctions, the country’s voting rights could be suspended.
Article 7 is often referred to as the EU’s “nuclear option.”
It comes after two years of wrangling over judicial reforms which are seen as undermining the independence of the courts.
“We are doing this for Poland, we are doing this for Polish citizens,” said Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission.
“I truly believe that every single citizen of a member state of the EU has a right to an independent justice. I do believe that the way we function as the European Union, the strength of the EU is equality before the law for everyone.”
The European Commission’s now asking other EU governments to declare there’s a “clear risk of a serious breach” to EU values. Warsaw has been given three months to sort the situation.
The Polish prime minister, who took office this month, tweeted that current judiciary reform is deeply needed. He added that Poland is as devoted to the rule of law as the rest of the EU.
Hungary’s condemned the move against Warsaw, describing it as “unacceptable” and a serious violation of the country’s sovereignty.