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.
Parliamentary sessions (both of the Sejm and the Senate) held at night. Extreme pace and we’ve got ourselves a new act on the Constitutional Tribunal – an act to which as a pretext served, unfortunately, the previous majority appointing five and not three Constitutional Tribunal judges.
For the next couple of years Poland will continue to take the bitter pills prescribed by European institutions, such as the European Parliament (which just renewed its investigation concerning CIA rendition) or the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (supervising enforcement of the Strasbourg verdicts). This painful treatment will continue just because Polish politicians have decided to violate the Polish Constitution and international treaties 13 years ago.
We, a large group of liberal-minded and committed young Greeks, met here in Thessaloniki, on 26-27 September 2014, in order to adopt a resolution that responds to the most urgent problems of our generation. We want our voice to be heard. And we want our calls for action set forth hereunder to be taken seriously.