European Commission Harsh on the Rule of Law of Hungary and Poland
The rule of law in Hungary and Poland, in particular, is not in good shape. Judges, journalists and civil society organizations cannot always do their work freely and independently, according to the European Commission in its first ‘MOT for the rule of law’ in the EU.
The committee is particularly concerned about the free press in Hungary. Independent media are systematically hindered and intimidated, according to the daily administration of the European Union.
Organizations that oppose Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government are compromised and treated “hostile”. Corruption in the highest circles sometimes remains undisturbed and concerns about the judiciary, which Brussels has expressed on several occasions, have not been allayed.
The committee is also concerned about the Polish judiciary and free press. The vibrant civil society and the powerful Ombudsman are bright spots.
The independence of the judiciary in Bulgaria and Croatia, among others, is also not guaranteed, the committee notes.
Many of these other Eastern European countries are also stuck in the fight against corruption. This applies at least as much to Malta, although this small Member State has been complimented for the progress made last year.