The European Union is flexing its weakening muscle against Poland in triggering Article 7, also known as the ‘nuclear option’ – a maneuver Budapest has vowed to block, calling the decision “unprecedented and unbelievable.”
The rift between Brussels and Warsaw has been growing for years, primarily over the issue of ‘refugee resettlement,’ but EU officials have sought other battles in an effort to punish Poland. The Article 7 process, if executed in full, could lead to sanctions and stripping Poland of its voting rights within the bloc, but requires unanimous approval from all member states.
Hungary has announced it will not support the European Commission, and will stand with Poland in defiance of the superstate.
“We need to make it clear to the EU that it is pointless even to start proceedings against Poland as there is no chance of seeing it through — because Hungary will be there and form an insurmountable roadblock,” said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Orbán also asserted that an ‘attack on Poland is an attack against the whole of Central Europe,’ adding, “Without Poland, there is no strong Central Europe.”
Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister, Zsolt Semjén, echoed Orban’s sentiments, calling the tactic “unprecedented and unbelievable.”
“We shall defend Poland in the face of an unfair, fabricated political procedure,” Semjén said, accusing the EU of violating the sovereignty of a democratically-elected government.
Polish politicians responded to Budapest with gratitude and praise.
Brawo! Orban: We will stand alongside & fully support Poland.No European decisions can be taken to punish Poland. Hungary will prevent such punitive measures. Without a strong Poland there is no strong Central Europe. If Brussels attacks Poland, they attack all Central Europe.
— Arkadiusz Mularczyk (@arekmularczyk) December 22, 2017
Poland has been in the process of reforming it’s judicial system in an effort to purge judges and policies that have remained in place since the nation was under communist rule.
The reforms are aimed at dismantling a “privileged caste” of left-wing activist lawyers and judges, obligating ‘Christian values’ to be considered in Supreme Court rulings, and shaking up the entire judiciary by dismissing many sitting judges while also re-structuring how they are appointed.
Prominent Polish parliamentarian and former prime minister, Jaros?aw Kaczy?ski, a trained lawyer, asserts that Poland’s court system is still a “stronghold of post-communists.”
The European Commission has opposed these measures, accusing Warsaw of ‘violating EU law.’
“Judicial reforms in Poland mean that the country’s judiciary is now under the political control of the ruling majority. In the absence of judicial independence, serious questions are raised about the effective application of EU law,” said Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans. “We are doing this for Poland, for Polish citizens.”
Overreach by the unelected authoritarians in Brussels seems to know no limits, as they even meddle in U.S. domestic policy, most recently accusing Washington D.C. of violating ‘global rules’ with the passage of major tax reform.