MEPs to debate rule of law in Poland - again
PR dla Zagranicy
European Parliament deputies will next Thursday hold the latest in a string of debates on the rule of law in Poland.
The European Parliament. Photo: Flickr.com/European Parliament
The Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, is to take part and present a report on an EU rule-of-law procedure launched against Poland over a year ago.
The debate is to be held by the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, the parliament’s press office said.
According to Poland’s PAP news agency, it is unknown whether a member of the Polish government has been invited to the discussions.
Ryszard Czarnecki, an MEP from Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, said: “This is another example of a completely unnecessary debate... such discussions are purely ideological and party-political."
He added: “This is about attacking Poland.”
In January last year, the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, announced it was starting a "rule-of-law" probe into whether laws pushed through by Law and Justice violate EU standards. PiS has fiercely rejected such accusations.
The probe could in theory lead to Brussels imposing penalties on Warsaw, but any such move would have to be backed unanimously by EU member states. Hungary has said it would not support sanctions.
After coming to power in late 2015, Law and Justice has introduced far-reaching changes, including to the judiciary, which at one point triggered a political deadlock over the country’s constitutional court.
Critics of the government argue its reforms have eroded democracy and rights in Poland, a charge PiS has fiercely rejected, pointing out that it won a sweeping mandate in democratic elections.
On Monday, the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties committee held a public hearing on "the fundamental rights situation" in Hungary. The Hungarian government was represented by the country’s justice minister.