Go back to the Europarl portal

Choisissez la langue de votre document :

  • bg - български
  • es - español
  • cs - čeština
  • da - dansk
  • de - Deutsch
  • et - eesti keel
  • el - ελληνικά
  • en - English (Selected)
  • fr - français
  • ga - Gaeilge
  • hr - hrvatski
  • it - italiano
  • lv - latviešu valoda
  • lt - lietuvių kalba
  • hu - magyar
  • mt - Malti
  • nl - Nederlands
  • pl - polski
  • pt - português
  • ro - română
  • sk - slovenčina
  • sl - slovenščina
  • fi - suomi
  • sv - svenska
 Full text 
Verbatim report of proceedings
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 - Strasbourg Revised edition

The situation of the rule of law and democracy in Poland (debate)

  Sophia in ’t Veld (ALDE). – Mr President, I note that Mr Legutko is afraid to answer any questions – he just made his statement and left, and that is symptomatic. In a democracy, you have debate: you have dialogue, questions and answers and an exchange of positions, and he just gives a monologue and leaves. That is called cowardice. What I did not hear in his totally irrational seven-minute rant was one single word of condemnation of the fascist march and the fascist slogans of last weekend. It was just a rant, and I have not heard where he stands. I would also like to hear about the rest of the ECR Group, because by not speaking out they are tacitly agreeing with the position of the PiS Government. Think about it: do you want to distance yourself from this, or do you want to side with a government that does not condemn fascists and that is restricting the freedom of other NGOs? Think very carefully about where you stand.

The government speakers represent – or claim to represent – the Polish people, as if there is only one opinion and one truth. Do you know what that is called? Absolutism. This is an authoritarian government that does not respect pluralism and does not respect the opinions of others. We know better, because we have seen the thousands who took to the streets to protest against the government – thousands of very courageous people, many courageous women – who spoke out against the government and for pluralism, for democracy, and for civil society.

So, Mr Legutko – who is not here – if you are asking for respect, then why do you not respect others? You have no respect for women’s rights, no respect for LGBTI people, no respect for people who do not share your religion, and no respect for people who do not share your opinion.

What I find very striking is how much the agenda of the PiS Government looks like the agenda of Mr Putin. They are always saying ‘we don’t like the Russians’, but their agenda is identical to that of Mr Putin.


Finally, I would like to say that this debate is not about Poland; it is about the rule of law. I welcome the words of the Council, but now we need some action. We need a real, broad mechanism that applies to all the Member States and that does not leave it to the Member States to judge themselves. We need a broad, independent mechanism, as has been proposed by the European Parliament.

(The speaker declined to take a blue-card question from Mr Złotowski under Rule 162(8))

Legal notice - Privacy policy