Justice Minister Accuses EU Of 'AttAck' On Polish Democracy
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen addresses the plenary during her first State of the Union speech at the European Parliament in Brussels, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will set out her vision of the future in her first State of the European Union address to the EU legislators. Weakened by the COVID-19 pandemic and the departure of the United Kingdom, she will center her speech on how the bloc should adapt to the challenges of the future, including global warming, the switch to a digital economy and immigration. (Olivier Hoslet, Pool via AP)
Poland's justice minister accused the European Union of waging an attack on democracy" after the European Parliament passed a resolution criticizing lax adherence to the rule of law and discrimination against women, LGBT people and other minorities in the EU member nation.
- Associated Press
- Last Updated: September 17, 2020, 22:18 IST
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WARSAW, Poland: Poland’s justice minister accused the European Union of waging an attack on democracy” after the European Parliament passed a resolution criticizing lax adherence to the rule of law and discrimination against women, LGBT people and other minorities in the EU member nation.
Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro called the resolution absurd and an assault on the true rule of law” and said Poland would fight efforts to cut the country’s EU funding over the allegations.
Ziobro said the EU was trying to impose its agenda and values on Poland while disrespecting the majority views in the largely conservative and Roman Catholic nation.
The minister said both Poland and fellow EU member Hungary are a constant target of leftist attacks.”
Once considered models for a democratic transition from communist rule, Poland and Hungary in recent years have become challenges for the bloc, with many other European countries now critical of what they see as backsliding.
EU lawmakers, in their resolution on Poland this week, expressed concerns regarding the legislative and electoral system, the independence of the judiciary and fundamental rights. The resolution was adopted on a 513-148 vote, with 33 abstentions.
It followed a debate on Monday in which the Polish government faced strong criticism, particularly over new national laws that have increased political control over the courts and official pronouncements against LGBT rights.
The debate came after a Spanish lawmaker, Juan Fernando Lpez Aguilar, prepared a report on fundamental rights in Poland. He said Thursday that Polish authorities continue to operate in contempt of the European legal order.
The broad support for this report is the best response to the allegations about a leftist conspiracy,” Lpez Aguilar said. What the Polish government has forgotten is that democracy is not about majority rule, but about respecting EU law, pluralism, the right to dissent and protecting minorities.
The head of the EU’s executive arm, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, in her first S tate of the Union address on Wednesday, also strongly denounced the stigmatization of LGBT people by authorities in Poland.
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