Lucinda Creighton: Von der Leyen must hold the line on Poland and Hungary

Sitting back and doing nothing will only encourage other EU states to behave in the manner of the two recalcitrant eastern European nations

Mateusz Morawiecki, prime minister of Poland, and Ursula Von der Leyen, European Commission President: if the European Commission does not impose strict rules on badly behaved countries such as Poland and Hungary, the entire EU legal and governance structure could crumble. Picture: Getty

On May 1, 2004, the leaders of 25 European states gathered to celebrate the accession of ten central and eastern European countries to the EU. Those countries had emerged from the division of the Yugoslav and Soviet regimes, and had worked remarkably hard to arrive at that momentous occasion on a sunny day in Dublin.

The symbolism of 26 flags being raised at Áras an Uachtaráin, one for each of the EU member states, and ...