October 27
2020
Anjum Shabbir
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17th September 2020
Human Rights Institutional law

European Parliament insists EU must protect fundamental rights and the rule of law in Poland

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Thursday today calling on the Council of the European Union to take specific action to address grave problems in Poland concerning

– the functioning of the legislative and electoral system,

– the independence of the judiciary and the rights of judges, and

– the protection of fundamental rights;

It says that the following actions should be taken:

  • the Commission should examine whether certain Polish local authorities declaring their territories ‘LGBTI-free zones’ constitutes unlawful discrimination in employment;

and

  • the Article 7 TEU procedure against Poland initiated by the Commission in 2017 should be continued, observing that the last hearing ‘was held as long ago as December 2018’.

More specifically, the key concerns laid out by MEPs who are ‘deeply concerned’ include the constitutional revision powers that the Polish Parliament has taken on since 2015, electoral law changes, and the organising of elections during the COVID-19 pandemic; the changes in appointments to the judiciary and disciplinary procedures against judges; the situation of fundamental rights including freedom of expression, media freedom, pluralism, freedom of assembly, de facto criminalisation of sexual education, intended withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, intolerant behaviour against vulnerable groups and more.

Read the Parliament’s press release here.

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