Rule of law in Poland and Hungary: debate with Council and Commission

On Monday, MEPs will assess whether EU values are at risk in Hungary and Poland, with Commissioner Didier Reynders and Finnish Minister Tytti Tuppurainen.

The debate in the Civil Liberties Committee on the two Article 7(1) procedures will include presentations on Hungary and Poland by Tytti Tuppurainen, Finland’s Minister for European Affairs, on behalf of the Council, and exclusively on Poland by Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice.

A few days after the General Affairs Council’s hearing on Hungary in the context of the procedure initiated by Parliament’s September 2018 request, Ms Tuppurainen will present to MEPs the conclusions on the evaluation of the annual rule of law dialogue. She will also lay out the Council’s views on the situation in the country.

Both Ms Tuppurainen and Mr Reynders will then deliver presentations on the state of play of rule of law in Poland. In March 2018, Parliament backed the EU Commission’s proposal to activate Article 7 (1) of the EU Treaty in relation to developments in the country.

When: Monday, 16 December, 21.00 – 22.30

Where: European Parliament in Strasbourg, Louise Weiss building, room N1.4

You can follow the joint debate live.


The Article 7(1) process (initiated by Parliament in the case of Hungary and by the Commission in the case of Poland) aims to determine whether a country is at risk of breaching the EU’s founding values. Parliament’s concerns relating to Hungary include judicial independence, freedom of expression, corruption, rights of minorities, and the situation of migrants and refugees.

In the case of Poland, MEPs are most worried about the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary and fundamental rights.

EU member states may decide, by a majority of four fifths and after receiving the consent of the EP, to launch the procedure laid down in Article 7 of the EU Treaty, which may eventually lead to sanctions, such as the suspension of voting rights in the Council.