Poland: Breaches of the Rule of Law cannot be tolerated says the EU

17/09/2020
Impact

"LGBTQI-free zones are humanity free zones. And they have no place in our Union," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen hammered home during her State of the Union Address at the European Parliament Plenary on 16 September. "Breaches of the rule of law cannot be tolerated."

The European Parliament followed suit, massively expressing its profound concern by adopting, on 17 September, a resolution with 513 votes to 148 and 33 abstentions firmly condemning Warsaw’s latest moves to undermine the independence of the judiciary, the legislative and electoral system and fundamental rights, including minority rights, in Poland.

The message is crystal clear: the Council must "finally act" to protect minorities and the rule of law in Poland when faced with "overwhelming evidence" of breaches of EU values, the European Parliament said.

FIDH and its member organisations in Poland welcome this strong EU position and the proposal by the EP’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs’ (LIBE) for a Council decision on the determination of a clear risk of a serious breach of the rule of law. As we have strenuously advocated over the past years, it is high time to act. Poland can no longer continue to flout the EU’s fundamental values. The Council must promptly resume the Article 7 procedure against Poland and hold the Polish government to account for violating EU principles, as FIDH and a number of civil society organisations have urged the Council to do. In this context, member states should address the issues that warranted the procedure’s activation in December 2017 and the most recent developments, including the impact that the Polish government’s action is having on all Article 2 values.

FIDH has continuously accompanied Polish civil society in defending their rights by speaking out against these persistent attempts to undermine the rule of law and human rights and advocating before key EU institutions to act upon these breaches by Poland’s government. We will follow this procedure to its conclusion.

For more background information, visit our section on Poland

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