Saturday

24th Feb 2018

Stakeholder

What is really happening in Poland?

  • Poland today is a safe country. There are no acts of collective assault on sexual, racial or any other grounds. (Photo: ECR group)

Statement by the Law and Justice (PiS) delegation of the ECR Group in advance of the debate on the situation in Poland in the European Parliament.

In 2015, a democratic general election took place in Poland, resulting in a change of power.

Mr Andrzej Duda won the office of President of Poland and the united right under the leadership of its largest party, namely the Law and Justice Party (PiS), won an absolute majority in Parliament.

The centre-liberal coalition of the Civic Platform (PO) and the Polish People's Party (PSL), which had been in power for 8 years, went into opposition. Left wing parties failed to obtain the required minimum percentage threshold of the vote, so they are not represented in Parliament.

The results of the elections have shown that the Polish people have critically judged the policy of the previous government, including its deficit of guarantees for the freedom of speech.

Under the rule of that government there were cases of penal repression against persons expressing criticism of the government of the time on the internet, at sports events or during anti-government demonstrations.

Surveillance and even the repression of journalists gave cause for serious concern. Yet, these facts did not attract the attention of or give rise to any reaction from European Institutions at the time.

European values

Just before the elections the outgoing incumbent coalition introduced changes in the Constitutional Court leading to the nomination of its own candidates to all but one of the existing positions of judges at that Court. This was done in violation of the Constitution, as subsequently reaffirmed by the Constitutional Court itself.

The newly elected parliament was therefore obliged to take the necessary remedial action. The controversy concerning the Constitutional Court, which was a consequence of the unconstitutional actions of the previous government, is practically over.

The composition of the Constitutional Court is now complete with the majority of its judges – 9 out of 15 – having been recommended to their positions by the present opposition.

The Law and Justice (PiS) government formed following the elections has undertaken important reforms expected by the Polish people, concerning the taxation system, family support benefits, education, health care, and the judiciary.

These reforms are in line with the principles and rules of the Polish Constitution, fully respecting European values.

Poland has now a stable majority government. The opposition is represented in the Parliament's governing bodies, with the leader of the opposition presiding over the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Poland is a decentralised state, with extensively developed regional and local self-governing bodies. In 15 out of 16 regions and in most of the major Polish cities, local self government is controlled by the Civic Platform (PO), which is in opposition only in Parliament.

Freedom of expression

Freedom of expression is respected. Anti-government demonstrations take place in Poland without any impediment or repression. There is complete freedom of the press, a major part of which is owned by foreign and especially German media corporations.

There is also complete freedom of communication on the internet. There is no censorship whatsoever. Any blocking of information about important events, such as those that took place recently in Germany with regards to the events in Cologne and other German cities, is inconceivable in Poland.

Poland today is a safe country. There are no acts of collective assault on sexual, racial or any other grounds. New year festivities and other popular events taking place in Poland are enjoyed in peace, without hindrance, disturbance or acts of aggression.

The situation is clearly much better in this regard than in many other European Union countries, where unfortunately acts of terror, collective aggression or even racist and sexual assaults do take place. Poland is not the scene of any such events.

In Poland the rights of women are respected, so they are not exposed to the threat of being assaulted in the streets. No one confronts them with degrading demands not to provoke potential aggressors by their clothing or behaviour.

The authorities do not give women humiliating advice not to venture away from home alone and to stay in groups when moving around in public, as has been suggested to women by the authorities in Germany.

Poland is a stable, democratic member state of the European Union, respecting European values, while shaping its internal legal order in a sovereign manner, in accordance with the democratically expressed will of its people.

Poland, as one of the largest countries in the European Union, contributes its significant part to the development and security of Europe.

Disclaimer: This article is sponsored by a third party. All opinions in this article reflect the views of the author and not of EUobserver.

What does EU scrutiny of Poland mean?

The EU Commission will discuss on Wednesday the state of play in Poland, and might launch a monitoring procedure against Warsaw. But what does this procedure mean, and does it matter?

Opinion

Towards a Putinisation of Central Europe?

With the migrant crisis ongoing, Central European countries are increasingly inching towards populism and nationalism. Russian president Vladimir Putin may well be become a model for some.

Behind the scenes of the Nordic model

The Nordic is comprised of 74 regions and, combined, is the 12th largest economy in the world. The State of the Nordic Region 2018 gives a unique look behind the scenes of the world's most integrated region.

Stakeholders' Views

This EUobserver section provides a platform for EU stakeholders to communicate positions, views and activities.

News in Brief

  1. EU calls for immediate ceasefire in Syria
  2. UK's post-Brexit vision is 'pure illusion', Tusk says
  3. EU leaders express solidarity with Cyprus in Turkey drill row
  4. EU to double funding for Sahel forces
  5. EU parliament president: 'The immigration problem is Africa'
  6. May to unveil EU departure strategy next week
  7. Pregnant workers may be dismissed, EU court rules
  8. Romanian minister demands anti-corruption prosecutor fired

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ILGA EuropeAnkara Ban on LGBTI Events Continues as Turkish Courts Reject NGO Appeals
  2. Aid & Trade LondonJoin Thousands of Stakeholders of the Global Aid Industry at Aid & Trade London
  3. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.European Free Alliance Joins MHRMI to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  5. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  6. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  8. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  9. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  11. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  12. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name

Latest News

  1. EU agrees budget to focus on defence, security and migration
  2. EU leaders nix transnational lists, cool on 'Spitzenkandidat'
  3. Regions chief: calls for smaller EU budget are 'impossible'
  4. Election fever picks up This WEEK
  5. EU-Morocco fishing deal casts doubt on EU future foreign policy
  6. EU leaders put 'Spitzenkandidat' on summit menu
  7. European far-right political party risks collapse
  8. The key budget issues on EU leaders' table

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesHarnessing Globalization- at What Cost? Keynote Speaker Commissioner Malmström
  2. European Friends of ArmeniaSave The Date 28/02: “Nagorno-Karabakh & the EU: 1988-2018”
  3. European Heart NetworkSmart CAP is Triple Win for Economy, Environment and Health
  4. European Free AlllianceEFA Joined the Protest in Aiacciu to Solicit a Dialogue After the Elections
  5. EPSUDrinking Water Directive Step Forward but Human Right to Water Not Recognized
  6. European Gaming & Betting AssociationGambling Operators File Data Protection Complaint Against Payment Block in Norway
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Expresses Deep Concern Over Proposed Holocaust Law in Poland
  8. CECEConstruction Industry Gets Together to Discuss the Digital Revolution @ the EU Industry Days
  9. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Relations in the New Era
  10. European Free AlllianceEnd Discrimination of European Minorities - Sign the Minority Safepack Initiative
  11. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Diversity Shouldn’t Be Only a Slogan” Lorant Vincze (Fuen) Warns European Commission
  12. Dialogue PlatformWhat Can Christians Learn from a Global Islamic Movement?