Determination of a clear risk of a serious breach by Poland of the rule of law

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Series Details 2017/0360R(NLE)
Publication Date 2019-2020
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Resolution prepared by the European Parliament on the state of of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in Poland.

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The text of this report focuses on the functioning of the legislative and electoral system, the independence of the judiciary and the rights of judges, and the protection of fundamental rights in Poland. MEPs show concern over the deterioration of democratic standards in the country, despite the engagement between national authorities and international stakeholders on this matter.

The following are among key concerns reflected in the text:

  • the constitutional revision powers taken on by the parliament, the use of expedited legislative procedures, as well as developments pertaining to changes to the electoral law and elections organised during a public emergency;
  • changes to the country’s judiciary, posing a serious risk to judicial independence;
  • the situation of fundamental rights;
  • the de facto criminalisation of sexual education, hate speech, public discrimination, violence against women, domestic violence and intolerant behaviour against minorities and other vulnerable groups, and the drastic limitation of abortion and limiting access to emergency contraceptive pills.

This report is connected to the European Commission's 2017 proposal for a Council Decision determinating a serious breach of the rule of law by Poland, in the framework of Article 7(1) TEU. A draft report was discussed by the Parliament's relevant committee on 25 May 2020 and amendments were voted on 14 July.

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Related Links
Euronews, 26/05/2020: MEPs call for 'decisive action' over rule of law in Poland
EurActiv, 26/05/2020: MEP report urges EU to increase pressure on Poland over rule of law
Politico, 14/07/2020: Leading MEP calls on EU countries to ‘finally act’ against Poland

European Parliament: Press Release, 25/05/2020: Rule of Law in Poland: concerns continue to grow among MEPs
European Parliament: Press Release, 14/07/2020: Rule of law in Poland: MEPs point to “overwhelming evidence” of breaches

ESO Records
European Parliament Resolution on ongoing hearings under Article 7(1) of the TEU regarding Poland and Hungary

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