Civil Liberties Committee MEPs will be in Poland from Wednesday to Friday this week to assess the rule of law and respect for fundamental values

This delegation will meet representatives of the Polish government and judiciary, Poland’s ombudsman, and representatives of other authorities, organisations and stakeholders to gather insights into the latest developments as regards the rule of law in Poland. Meetings are also scheduled with media representatives and women’s rights activists.

Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes, who is leading the delegatation to Poland, said “The European Parliament has adopted several resolutions over the course of the past years, addressing the situation of the rule of law, fundamental rights and democracy in Poland. At this stage, this mission is key to have a direct exchange with key stakeholders and get first hand insights.

Yesterday’s suspension of the Polish National Judicial Council (KRS) from the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) has shown that this mission is crucial and timely. I am looking forward to the important discussions.”

The visit takes place in the context of ongoing rule of law dialogue between the EU General Affairs Council and Polish authorities, begun in June, on the basis of EU Treaty Article 7.1. This is the first time that this procedure has been used with respect to an EU member state.

Press conference

There will be a press conference by the Head of the delegation and Committee Chair Claude Moraes, on Friday, 21 September, at 12:45-13:30, EP Liaison office, ul. Jasna 14/16 a, 00-041 Warsaw.

Background

In March the European Parliament backed the EU Commission’s proposal to activate Article 7 (1) of the EU Treaty and urged EU governments to swiftly determine whether Poland is at risk of a serious breach of EU values and if so, to propose solutions.

In a resolution adopted in November 2017, MEPs reiterated the need for a regular process of monitoring the situation in Poland in order to safeguard the EU’s values referred to in Article 2 of the Treaty: democracy, fundamental citizen rights and the rule of law.

On 24 May, the Civil Liberties Committee decided to organize a mission to Poland, composed of the Chair and Shadow Rapporteurs of all the political groups on the Poland procedure. The mission visit will feed into the committee’s ongoing monitoring work and form the basis of a possible interim report.

List of members travelling to Poland

Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) -  Head of the delegation

Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE, FR)

Valdemar Tomaševski (ECR, LT)

Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA, NL)

Frank Engel (EPP, LU)

Nicolas Bay (ENF, FR)

Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL, IT)

Joëlle Bergeron (EFDD, FR)