poland

MFA: EP resolution a political tool to pressurise Poland

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken note of the adoption by the European Parliament of a resolution concerning the rule of law and democracy in Poland on 15 November 2017. Unfortunately, the European Parliament’s resolution comes at a very inopportune moment, when the parliamentary stage of the legislative process has only just begun in Poland.

We regret to say that the resolution’s signatories have based their disapproval of the Polish President’s bills on the National Council of the Judiciary and on the Supreme Court on a general and oral opinion which the European Commission expressed only several days ago. For its part, the Polish government has been providing comprehensive written explanations in response to the European Commission’s recommendations. We do not avoid dialogue emphasizing that it must be based on facts and an openness to Polish arguments. At the same time, the European Parliament’s resolution does not address issues which lie at the heart of the dispute between the Commission and Poland. Rather, the resolution should be regarded as an instrument for exerting political pressure on Poland.

The text of the resolution goes beyond the framework of the ongoing dialogue, many passages are very judgmental, and contain a number of sweeping statements, e.g. about the situation of potential asylum seekers at the border with Belarus. The government believes that the measures introduced at the external border, in particular at the Terespol border crossing, are appropriate in the current migratory situation. Furthermore, the resolution does not reflect the actual state of affairs when it comes to the Bialowieza Forest, as it fails to mention that the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has still not delivered any final decision on interim measures, while the Polish government respects and implements the Court Vice-President’s decision of 27 July 2017, which directly authorises Poland to take protective actions warranted by public security considerations.

As regards the law on assemblies, the resolution also omits some important facts, for instance the judgement of the Constitutional Tribunal on the compliance of this law with the Polish Constitution. Indeed, the legal solutions do not give rise to conclusions that freedom of public assembly is being curtailed in Poland. Equally unfounded are opinions expressed by the European Parliament on socially-sensitive issues, opinions which are irrelevant to the dialogue on the rule of law between the European Commission and Poland.

We respect the right of the European Parliament, as the EU’s representative body, to express its own views. Having said that, the EP resolution is a one-sided document that is too often based on political assessments, while making too little use of in-depth legal analysis. Such an approach is detrimental to the process of European integration as it only leads to stigmatizing a Member State.

MFA Press Office

16.11.2017