Udo Bullmann to Polish Prime Minister: stop dismantling democracy in Poland!

EU Polish flag and RULE OF LAW IN POLAND

Today’s debate in the European Parliament on the future of Europe with the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, came at a very troubling time for Polish democracy. Just yesterday, a new law took effect that allows for the removal of about 40% of all Supreme Court judges.
 
Udo Bullmann, the S&D Group president said:
 
“Prime Minister Morawiecki came to talk about the future of Europe. But he is taking us back to Europe’s past that we definitely do not want to relive. The nationalist-minded Law and Justice (PiS) party government he represents has implemented a series of reforms that are drastically changing the character of democracy in Poland.
 
“Do we still have independent judiciary and the separation of power in Poland? I doubt it. After taking over and crippling the Constitutional Tribunal, and totally politicising the National Council of the judiciary, PiS started to dismantle the Supreme Court, the last bastion of judiciary in Poland. The reform that took effect yesterday allows for pushing dozens of judges into early retirement and for packing the Court with the government’s supporters.  We strongly protest against the removal of the First President Malgorzata Gersdorf and other judges from their offices. We admire their determination and responsibility towards ensuring the respect of the Polish Constitution.

“Taking control of judiciary and public media is apparently not enough. Now the PiS government is planning to change the law for the next year’s European elections to maximise their electoral gains. 
 
“We are also outraged by the fact that the PiS majority has restarted working on the law to further criminalise abortion. They want to force women to give birth, even if it is clear that the child will not survive and will suffer horribly during its short time on earth. This is an attack on women. However, I am confident, seeing so many Polish women taking to the streets to defend their rights. We are standing by the vibrant Polish civil society that opposes this government’s undemocratic and illiberal actions.
 
“We strongly support the European Commission’s action to trigger the article 7 procedure to defend the rule of law in Poland. We also welcomed its latest decision to defend the Supreme Court. We have to make sure that the rights of Poles, as of all EU citizens, to live in a free, open and democratic society are protected. This is our duty as European Parliament members and as Europeans.
 
“Poland is a great nation. The Poles should be treated according to the highest standards. The PiS government must stop dismantling Polish democracy!