The European Commission has triggered Article 7 and launched an unprecedented censure against Poland over a judicial reform dispute, the Commission said Wednesday in a statement.
"There is a clear risk of a serious breach of the rule of law in Poland," it said.
Over a period of two years, the Polish authorities have adopted more than 13 laws affecting the entire structure of the justice system in Poland, according to the Commission statement.
"The European Commission is taking action to protect the rule of law in Europe. Judicial reforms in Poland mean that the country's judiciary is now under the political control of the ruling majority," it said.
Dubbed so-called "nuclear option", Article 7 has never been triggered against any EU member state before. The procedure could eventually lead to Poland losing its voting rights in the 28-member bloc.
The European Commission also decided to bring the Polish government to the European Court of Justice for breach of EU law, concerning the Law on the Ordinary Courts and, specifically, the retirement regime it introduces.