MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
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29.6.2016
PE585.303v01-00
 
B8-0866/2016

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure


on recent developments in Poland and their impact on fundamental rights as laid down in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2016/2774(RSP))


Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Charles Tannock, Ryszard Czarnecki, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Karol Karski, Hans-Olaf Henkel, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Edward Czesak, Kosma Złotowski, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski, Bolesław G. Piecha, Beata Gosiewska, Stanisław Ożóg, Sławomir Kłosowski on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on recent developments in Poland and their impact on fundamental rights as laid down in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2016/2774(RSP))  
B8‑0866/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) defining categories and areas of Union competence,

–  having regard to Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the principle of subsidiarity,

–  having regard to Protocol (No 30) on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union to Poland and to the United Kingdom,

–  having regard to Declaration No 1 concerning the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union annexed to the Treaty on European Union,

–  having regard to Declaration No 61 by the Republic of Poland on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union annexed to the Treaty on European Union,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the current Polish Government has the strongest democratic mandate in the country’s history since the fall of communism;

B.  whereas in accordance with Articles 2 to 6 TFEU, the sphere of public morality and family law is excluded from the competences of the EU and remains an exclusive sphere of decision-making for Member States;

C.  whereas the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union applies to the actions of the EU and the Member States when implementing EU legislation;

D.  whereas the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union to Poland is restricted as stipulated in Protocol (No 30); whereas, moreover, Declaration No 61 by the Republic of Poland on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union emphasises that ‘the Charter does not affect in any way the right of Member States to legislate in the sphere of public morality, family law, as well as the protection of human dignity and respect for human physical and moral integrity’;

E.  whereas Declaration No 1 concerning the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union stipulates that ‘the Charter does not extend the field of application of Union law beyond the powers of the Union or establish any new power or task for the Union, or modify powers and tasks as defined by the Treaties’;

F.  whereas the Polish Government has no plans to change the laws on abortion which are currently in place; whereas a group of NGOs, as part of a civic movement, are collecting signatures under a motion to amend the abortion laws; whereas the European Citizens’ Initiative entitled ‘One of Us’ aimed at stopping the EU from funding abortion or embryonic research collected 1.8 million signatures across the EU, reaching the minimum quota in 20 Member States;

G.  whereas citizens’ initiatives are one of the main tools for every society to exercise its democratic rights; whereas this has been recognised by the EU through the introduction of the European Citizens’ Initiative;

H.  whereas the Commission’s consultations with the Polish Government regarding the Constitutional Tribunal are currently underway; whereas following his last visit to Poland, Commissioner Timmermans emphasised that ‘the Polish Government has the full right to implement any programmes they have promised to the voters’ and recommended continuing with the current format of his visits to Poland;

1.  Underlines that in accordance with Protocol (No 30), Poland is not bound by the principles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union unless these principles are recognised in the law or practices of Poland;

2.  Stresses that Article 5 TEU defining the principle of subsidiarity states that ‘in areas which do not fall within its exclusive competence, the Union shall act only if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States’;

3.  Underlines that areas such as freedom and justice, as well as the environment, are shared competences under Article 4 TFEU, that culture is an area where the EU can only carry out actions to support or coordinate those of the Member States, and that the sphere of public morality and family law is excluded from EU competence;

4.  Stresses therefore that new legislation in Poland such as the Antiterrorism Act, changes to the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Prosecution Act or the Public Broadcasting Service Act should not involve the EU institutions, as under the rule of subsidiarity their objectives will be best achieved by the Polish authorities;

5.  Reiterates that there is no new abortion law being put forward in the Polish parliament and firmly rejects any interference by the EU institutions in the sphere of public morality and family law, which can only be addressed at Member State level;

6.  Notes that consultations between the Commission and Poland are currently ongoing; stresses that the Speaker of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland (the lower house) appointed a group of experts, open to representatives of all parliamentary parties, whose task was to draw up recommendations for future parliamentary work and to apply, to the greatest possible extent, the Venice Commission recommendations to the entire area; underlines that this group has finished its work and the results have been officially transferred to the Commission;

7.  Urges the leaders of the EU institutions and of the Member States to regard the results of the referendum of 23 June 2016 in the United Kingdom as an important signal of wider discontent; calls on them to reflect on the way the Union should be reformed in order to bring the decision-making process closer to citizens and guarantee better compliance with the principle of subsidiarity;

8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Council of Europe and the European Commission for Democracy Through Law.

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