EU parliament discussed rule of law and LGBT rights in Poland

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TVN24 News in English, PAP
Vera Jourova says EU executive wants to open "new chapter" with Poland
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Vera Jourova says EU executive wants to open "new chapter" with Poland

The European Parliament on Monday debated the current state of the rule of law and LGBT rights in Poland. Vice President of the European Commission Vera Jourova announced the EU executive would soon decide on how to push forward the EU law infringement procedure against Poland. She also stressed that the EU won't tolerate discrimination of LGBTI people.

The EU lawmakers discussed the latest report on the condition of the rule of law in Poland, compiled by the head of the LIBE Committee, MEP Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar. The committee under his helm had adopted the report in July, despite the protests by the PiS party (Poland's ruling Law and Justice party) lawmakers. The report is to be put to a vote on Thursday.

Aguilar expressed his concern with "undermining of European values and democracy in Poland", which in practice means "undermining these values in the European Union".

Dutch lawmaker Sophia in ’t Velt called on the EU leaders to exert more pressure on the Polish government and argued that keeping a dialogue with Poland over the rule of law seemed pointless. "We see Poland crossing red line after red line," she said.

Vice President of the EU Commission Vera Jourova said the EU executive would soon decide on how to push forward the EU law infringement procedure against Poland.

She also warned that in case of violating fundamental rights of LGBTI people, Poland would not receive EU funds.

"Banning judges from political activity is a fundamental issue for the independence of courts. (...) In your opinion, it violates the rule of law" - said Poland's former deputy justice minister and current PiS MEP Patryk Jaki.

He also said there were no "LGBT-free" zones in Poland and that it was only a joke made by "left-wing activists". "They sent you pictures, and you fell for it" - he said.

Poland's conservative government led by the Law and Justice party has been at loggerheads with the EU over undercutting democracy and the rule of law ever since it came to power in 2015.

Autor:gf

Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: PAP/EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET