13:19 GMT +322 November 2019
Listen Live
    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban gestures in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, April 8, 2018

    EU Courts Worry That Polish-Hungarian Judicial Reform "Disease" Could Spread

    © AP Photo / Darko Vojinovic
    Europe
    Get short URL
    244
    Subscribe

    Amid growing tensions between the EU and several member states in central Europe over their course of reforms, the new head of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ)has sent a warning message to Poland, Hungary and other states, who want to follow their example and deviate from Brussels’ stance.

    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.

    READ MORE: EU Commissioner Warns Some Bloc States May Be 'Sandbags' to Be Thrown Away

    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.

    READ MORE: Poland Hails Orban's Victory as Sign of Central Europe's 'Emancipation'

    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.

    Related:

    Poland Backs US on Iran Deal, Drifts Away From EU’s United Criticism
    Poland Hails Orban's Victory as Sign of Central Europe's 'Emancipation'
    Poland Not Ready to Join Eurozone - Prime Minister
    EU Parliament Backs Launching Checks on Whether Poland Violates EU Values
    Hungary's PM Orban Mulls Blocking EU Budget if Brussels Spends Money on Migrants
    Migrants Go Home & EU Rebel: Top 5 Points of Viktor Orban's Political Agenda
    Tags:
    judicial reform, courts, judicial system, Andrej Duda, Viktor Orban, European Union, Hungary, Poland
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik