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The Brief: Rule of law worries in Hungary and Poland

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By Sandor Zsiros, Ana Lazaro, Meabh McMahon
The Brief: Rule of law worries in Hungary and Poland
Copyright  AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski   -   Czarek Sokolowski

In an unprecedented public display of judicial solidarity, judges from all around Europe marched in Poland last Saturday to express their rejection to a series of laws that endanger the independence of judges.

The European institutions have been putting pressure on Warsaw to stop the judiciary reform, but with litlle success.

A delegation of Polish Judges traveled to Strasbourg to follow the plenary session and report about the situation in which they are.

"The aim of the so called reform is not to really make the justice working better. In fact, the reforms are targeting the judges and they want us to make us more dependent to executive and legislative powers. And that is really dangerous in fact," Polish judge Joanna Hetnarowicz-Sikora told Euronews.

The European Commission has decided to increase the pressure and has asked the European Court of Justice to order the suspension of the disciplinary system that applies to Polish judges,

This was not welcomed by MEPs from the ruling political party in Poland.

"The idea itself that the European Commission intervenes in the legislative process of a member state country is just outrageous," remarked Ryszard Legutko (MEP, Poland, ECR).

Brussels is also worried about the situation of rule of law in Hungary, where protests against the government follow one another.

The Croatian presidency would like to finish the article 7 procedure during this semester. But this does not seem to scare them.

"Wellcome, hurra, and heureca. We have to make this happen as soon as possible," exclaimed Tamas Deutsch (MEP, Hungary, EPP) talking to reporters.

The Hungarian government knows that the Council will never get the majority to punish them as Poland will never vote against them and vice-versa.

A tricky situation for the EU.

"Hungary and Poland are good examples of how the EU can fall apart into pieces if we do not pay attention," Anna Donath, (MEP, Hungary, Renew) told our reporter.

That is why the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, could be working on a new rule of law mechanism.