On Tuesday, June 18, 2019, the European Court of Justice considered two preliminary requests submitted by courts in Lodz and Warsaw. Both courts are concerned whether the new system of disciplinary proceedings against judges meets EU standards.
While the Member States still have at least the sole jurisdiction in criminal matters, they maintain a good deal of sovereignty. Once an EU “federal” criminal framework begins to take root, it won’t take long before we will all be committing three EU felonies a day.
The hatred towards the “other” constitutes a leading political platform of one of the two ruling Bulgarian parties – United Patriots. On the other hand, populism is finding gaps in the economic policy through statements on the fight against monopolies and a number of legal actions to curb business.
The governing coalition of PSD and ALDE, elected in December 2016, seems indecisive in exercising executive power. The declining voter turnout, the street protests of February, and the curious change of prime minister in June raise legitimate questions about Romania’s flawed democracy.
The year 2017 brought wins and failures. The Ukrainian Government was able to approve important reforms, which was still not sufficient to receive scheduled assistance from the IMF and the EU. 2018 will be tough as Ukraine should make large progress in many areas, while the 2019 elections are approaching.
All three Polish members of the 4Liberty.eu Network – Civil Development Forum (FOR), Liberté! Foundation, and Projekt: Polska – signed an open letter to the President of Poland Andrzej Duda with an appeal “to protect Polish Constitution and the rule of law which it guarantees”.
On July 26, 2017, Marek Tatala, Vice-President of the Civil Development Forum, spoke at the U.S. Helsinki Commission briefing about democracy in Central & Eastern Europe, which was organized in Washington D.C. In his speech, Tatala emphasized challenges to democracy and rule of law in Poland, including independence of judiciary.
For over three decades, the position of the Constitutional Tribunal seemed to be solidly grounded in the Polish institutional landscape and the pluralistic public discourse. However, with the recent demolition of the Tribunal, we are faced with an end of an era.
In January 1982, after the martial law was introduced, Professors of the Warsaw University Tomasz Dybowski, refused to shake hands with Professor Sylwester Zawadzki – the then Minister of Justice – addressing him in the following manner: “for me, you are no longer a professor”. Now, it is high time to bring such gestrures back.