Civil Development Forum (FOR) presents the fourth report on the crisis of the rule of law in Poland. This part deals with the restoration of the rule of law, reversal of Law and Justice’s policies and reforms of the justice system that are needed in the future.
Hungary had a scandal-ridden month in the EU. As the new EU budget is connected to rule of law, Hungary fought it tooth and nail, claiming it’s not about corruption but Soros and immigrants.
Whilst waiting on the political and governmental reforms of the EU, we should be aware of our contemporary situation and stay modest in small steps: only such small steps could keep us on track with optimism of our founding fathers, both of the EU and liberal democracy.
On December 10, 2020, two representatives of the member organizations cooperating within the 4liberty.eu network took part in a webinar organized by the European Liberal Forum (ELF) devoted to the topic “Rule of Law: At What Cost?”.
Poland decided in favor of the veto partially in light of the EU’s activation of Article 7 on December 20, 2017. The Polish government is attempting to justify the veto by stating that it is defending itself and thereby affirming its power.
Poland’s benefits from access to the Single Market are five times higher than from subsidies from the EU budget. In 2019 we received net transfers of EUR 11 billion from the EU budget. But, thanks to access to the European Single Market, Poland’s GDP was 56 billion euros higher.
Polish laws on abortion are the strictest in Europe. The government refuses the right to safe abortion to people with wombs, allowing for abortion tourism and self-induced miscarriage. This wasn’t enough for religious fundamentalists in the Polish parliament.
The Polish government’s war with both Brussels and a significant part of the Polish population over the rule of law is against Poland’s national interests. On October 26, the European Parliament adopted a resolution criticizing the Polish Constitutional Tribunal’s decision to ban over 95% of legal abortions in Poland.
It could be argued that the EU is now paying the price for the incomplete settlement of the rule of law dispute during the July summit, when the multi-billion euro Corona recovery package and the seven-year EU financial framework were agreed.
Addressing and diminishing barriers to the single market in the EU is a much welcome initiative. The initiatives to decrease bureaucracy, to step up efforts to comply with EU law, to evaluate the effects of new regulations on SMEs in impact assessments, and mutual recognition are important steps in promoting growth, free trade, and consumer rights.