Rule of law and “LGBTI-free zones” in Poland: debate in plenary starts at 17.30 

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Plenary session 
 
 

Parliament will discuss a new report pointing to “overwhelming evidence” of breaches of the rule of law and fundamental rights in Poland.

The draft interim report adopted by the Civil Liberties Committee in July on the ongoing Article 7 procedure regarding Poland points to “overwhelming evidence” of rule of law breaches, including risks for judicial independence, malfunctioning of the legislative and electoral systems and threats to fundamental rights.

The situation has deteriorated since the Article 7(1) procedure was initiated by the European Commission in December 2017, according to MEPs, who urge the Council to deal with the issue, which has been on hold since 2018, and “finally act” to defend the rights of citizens.

Discrimination against LGBTI people

In its judgement of 23 April 2020 (Lenford ruling), the European Court of Justice declared that the EU anti-discrimination directive applies to statements made by a lawyer during a radio programme, in which he said he would never recruit a “homosexual” or wish to use their services. MEPs will now discuss the potential impact of this ruling on the situation in Poland, where certain local authorities have declared their territories “LGBTI-free zones”, and ask the Commission whether these statements may constitute unlawful discrimination in employment.

According to the Fundamental Rights Agency, intolerance and violence towards LGBTI people are on the rise in Poland, where an overwhelming majority do not believe that the government is effectively protecting them by combating prejudice and intolerance against them.

When: Monday, 14 September, at 17.30

Where: European Parliament in Brussels, plenary chamber

You can watch the plenary debate on the EP Multimedia Centre and EbS+.

A press conference with the Civil Liberties Committee Chair Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES) will take place on Tuesday, 15 September 2020, at 15.00 in Parliament’s Anna Politkovskaya press conference room and online. Additional information on how to connect will be circulated shortly.