Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Friday characterized the EU's punitive actions against Poland as unfair and unjust. He added that Hungary will block any attempts to suspend Poland's voting rights in the Union.
"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," Orban said.
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
On Wednesday, the European Commission proposed to the EU Council to invoke Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty, paving the way for sanctions against Poland and suspending some of the country's rights as an EU member.
Warsaw's two bills on judiciary reform were approved in July. While one of them empowers the parliament to appoint members of the National Council of Judiciary, another bill expands the powers of the justice minister, enabling the official to appoint or dismiss chief judges of ordinary courts.
The European Commission opposes the Polish legislation since it stipulates discrimination against individuals on the basis of gender by providing for the different retirement age for female and male judges. In addition, the Polish law is criticized over undermining the courts' independence by giving the minister of justice the discretionary power to prolong the mandate of judges who have reached retirement age, to dismiss and appoint court presidents and exert influence on individual judges through "vague criteria."