Gone are the days of mild-mannered recommendations: Brussels decided Wednesday to activate the procedure laid down in Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty against Warsaw for risking a serious violation of the rule of law.
For the first time, the European Commission has chosen to resort to the so-called “nuclear option”—in the jargon of E.U. bureaucrats—which could also involve the suspension of Poland’s voting rights in the European Council.
On several previous occasions, the Commission threatened the application of Article 7 against Viktor Orban’s Hungary. Budapest remains today the strongest diplomatic ally of the populist right wing government of the Polish Law and Justice Party (PiS).