Brussels is protesting against Poland’s plans to overhaul its constitutional court which would give more power to the country’s government, rather that being independent.
But unflinching members of Warsaw’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) reacted to the European Commission’s decision to trigger Article 7 by pushing ahead with the controversial plans.
Officials in the bloc are concerned the move will give the government too much control over the courts – but Polish officials claim the reforms will allow for “greater democracy”.
The nation’s President accused the EU of “hypocrisy” following the bloc’s decision to launch so-called ‘nuclear option’ Article 7 proceedings – which could see Warsaw lose its union voting rights if member states vote to back it.
It follows months of conflict between the 27-nation superstate and Poland – which is the European project’s biggest net benefactor.
Addressing his nation, the right-wing President said: “Many representative of European institutions are simply saying untruths about Poland.
“They are lying.”
The nation’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also defended their actions following the EU’s threat of sanctions.
He said: “Poland is as devoted to the rule of law as the rest of the EU.
“The current judiciary reform is deeply needed.”
Meanwhile legal experts have claimed the bloc’s bark is much worse than its bite – saying the so-called “nuclear option” of punishing the Poles only serves to highlight a lack of power in Brussels.
The long-running row centres around Poland’s highly controversial judicial reforms which were given the green light by the Warsaw two weeks ago despite warnings they broke EU law.
Professor of European lawyer Thomas Giegerich said: “The EU’s means of enforcement are finite.
“If a state no longer wants to abide by the rules of the game, the EU can not force it to do so with military power.
“At the core of the EU is that all member states respect its legal requirements.
“The problem is that more and more member states are simply stubbornly refusing to do so.”