The ENCJ, which represents the EU members’ law courts, has slammed Poland and Hungary for altering its judicial system, which the EU criticized as harmful for democracy. The new ENCJ head, Kees Sterk from the Netherlands, has claimed that events in Poland and Hungary have reached a systematic level. The official has expressed alarm that other bloc members could follow their example.
“The disease of Poland and Hungary could spread. It could spread to the neighboring countries. Who says that it won’t spread to other parts of Europe?” the official stated.
The European Networks of Councils for the Judiciary is looking into the status of it members, who is representing Poland at the event. Hungary’s member has asked the body to interfere after the country’s government proposed a judicial reform.
Hungary and neighboring Poland are both being subject to close EU labor scrutiny.
In 2017 the Polish parliament adopted a bill which would change the system of appointing Supreme Court judges, and allow the dismissal of current judges, with the exception of those nominated by the justice minister. The European Union criticized Warsaw over the changes, which pose a threat to the separation of powers in the country, according to Brussels. In its attempt to curb the process, the EU threatened with budget cuts if Poland wouldn't give up on the disputed changes. Warsaw has agreed on some amendments, but they were not enough, according to the bloc. The EU set the end of June as a deadline for more concessions, but the Polish government has been refusing to meet the demands.
Hungary’s government presented its plans to found a new high court to review public administration. Prime Minister Viktor Orban tried to introduce a similar change in 2016 but the Constitutional Court blocked it.
Relations between Brussels and the Visegrad Group: Poland, Hungry, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, have been strained, as the bloc frowns upon the policies of the right-wing parties which govern these states. Joint-migration policy remains a heated issue. The showdown mounted in 2017 when the European Commission told Hungary as well as Poland that they will face sanctions if they do not agree to take in a Brussels-mandated quota of asylum-seekers.