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 Full text 
Monday, 5 October 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

The establishment of an EU Mechanism on Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights (debate)

  Michal Šimečka, rapporteur. – Madam President, I would like to thank everyone who took part in this debate and, specifically, I would like to thank all the shadow rapporteurs who have worked on this file and made it a better text. They were all very constructive and helped produce a report which, I hope, will gain a broad majority in the vote tomorrow.

Let me also very briefly respond to some of the critical comments and, specifically, to Mr Fest, who is somehow suggesting that this is a disingenuous exercise because we don’t criticise Turkey or some African Republics. Obviously, I would love it if Turkey and countries in our neighbourhood subscribed to the same rule of law mechanism and conditionality that we have here, but that’s not possible. I think that, precisely to have credibility externally, we need to do this at home, to make sure that our Member States subscribe to the values and principles of the EU.

To Ms Kempa, who is suggesting that somehow I don’t like Poland or I am being manipulated, first of all, this is nothing against Poland. Being a Slovak, obviously I consider Poles to be my brotherly nation. The problem is with the current Polish Government, and it’s not just me saying that, it’s the European Commission, the European Court of Justice, the Council of Europe and all sorts of other organisations. So there’s no conspiracy against Poland.

Finally, I would like to thank both Vice—President Jourová and Commissioner Reynders for their commitment to the rule of law report presented today, which indeed is a historic step forward that must be acknowledged. The issue that we have and the proposal that we are putting forward is to make it stronger and to make a clear link with enforcement and further action. It is obviously to enlarge the scope, but also to put it on solid legal grounds through an interinstitutional agreement, which the Parliament can propose, because there might be Commissioners after you who will not have the same kind of commitment. There might be a Presidency after which will not have the same kind of commitment. So we want to have something that is solid and which all three institutions can have joint ownership of.


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