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Fundamental rights in Poland: MEPs want government to heed recommendations

MEPs urged the Polish government to solve the country’s constitutional crisis within the three-month deadline set by the EC on 27 July.  The solution should reflect a compromise between all parliamentary parties and be fully in line with the Venice Commission and the EC recommendations.

In a resolution, passed by 510 votes to 160 with 29 abstentions on Wednesday, Parliament reminds Poland’s government that “the European Union is founded on the values /.../ which were approved  by the Polish people on the occasion of the referendum in 2003” and “operates on the basis of the presumption of mutual trust that Member States conform with democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights”.

The paralysis of the Constitutional Tribunal and the refusal of the Polish Government to publish all its judgments “endanger democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law in Poland”, MEPs says, referring in particular to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

They support the European Commission’s determination to find a way out of the current situation through a dialogue with Poland's authorities within the "framework for addressing systemic threats to the rule of law" initiated on 13 January. They urge Polish authorities to cooperate with the Commission, which issued a Rule of law Opinion in June and a Recommendation to Poland in July, and call on the Commission to monitor the follow-up to these recommendations by the Polish authorities.

Besides the constitutional crisis, Parliament is also concerned about “the recent rapid legislative developments” in other areas in relation, in particular, to:

  • independence and impartiality of public service media,
  • right to freedom of expression,
  • right to privacy,
  • procedural rights as well as the fundamental right to a fair trial,
  • political impartiality of the country’s administration, and
  • fundamental human rights, including women rights.

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