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.