Commission refers Poland to ECJ - quotes from Terry Reintke & Dr Sylwia Spurek
Rule of Law
Today, the European Commission has announced that it is referring Poland to the Court of Justice for the Polish law on the judiciary that undermines the independence of judges. The Greens/EFA Group have long demanded that the Commission take action against the Polish government for its numerous attempts to undermine the rule of law.
Terry Reintke MEP, Greens/EFA Group shadow rapporteur for Poland in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, comments:
"We welcome that finally the Commission is taking action on the independence of the judiciary in Poland. But this referral to the Court of Justice is long overdue and isn't enough to repair the damage done to democracy and the rule of law by the Polish government. The law the Commission has referred to the Court is just one of a barrage of bills designed to systematically strip the judiciary of any independence. Attacking the judiciary is contrary to European values as set out in the Treaties. The Commission needs to clearly set out what it intends to do, in order to deal with how the PiS government has stuffed the Courts, brought the 'Constitutional Tribunal' to heel and fired judges who are disloyal to the party. There's no time to wait around and refer the odd case to the Court, the Commission must be proactive and vigilant in defending the rule of law.
Dr Sylwia Spurek MEP, Greens/EFA Vice Chair of the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee, comments:
"The Commission's move to refer the Polish government to the Court of Justice for its attacks on the independency of the judiciary must be the start of a more effective approach against the PiS government's attacks on democracy. Judicial reforms are the tip of the iceberg of what the government has done to weaken the rule of law in Poland. The Commission must show that it is serious about protecting European values and take action against the government for so-called 'LGBTIQ Free Zones', for the assault on women's rights, the shrinking space for civil society and media freedom in the country. Polish citizens are European citizens, their rights must be guaranteed against the government's attempts to restrict them."