On Wednesday, the European Parliament took stock of developments in Poland, with many speakers calling for action to halt the backsliding on the rule of law and fundamental rights there.
In a debate with Minister Anže Logar representing the Slovenian Presidency and Commission Vice-President for Promoting the European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas, MEPs called on the Council, the Commission, and EU member states to step up their efforts to stop the continuous deterioration of “EU values” in Poland.
Speakers representing a majority in Parliament referred to the latest worrying developments, in particular:
- the 24 November ruling by the Polish Constitutional Tribunal that declared parts of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) incompatible with the Polish constitution, including Article 6 on the right to a fair trial
- the de facto ban on abortion since October 2020 and the government’s recent proposal to oblige doctors to report all pregnancies and miscarriages in a centralized register – which could be in place as early as January 2022
- the so-called “LGBTIQ-free zones” in Poland
In July 2020, the EP’s Civil Liberties Committee reported “overwhelming evidence” of rule of law breaches in Poland and recommended keeping an eye on the loss of fundamental rights there. The report focused on the continuing deterioration of the situation in Poland as regards the functioning of the legislative and electoral system, the independence of the judiciary and the rights of judges, and the protection of fundamental rights.