Some MEPs have launched an attack on the government led by Donald Tusk.

By Martin banks

Centre right members say that in the last few years, Polish opposition “representatives in the European Parliament have accused Poland’s United Right government of breaching the rule of law, the independence of the courts, and media freedom.”

A statement from the ECR group states that the Commission and the European Parliament “have accepted this narrative without deeper and honest analysis, even though with a minimum of goodwill one could have guessed, that it was a distorted picture of reality created for political purposes.”

The ECR statement goes on: “The Law and Justice government has used its parliamentary majority to fulfil its electoral promises, acting within the bounds of the law and at most taking advantage of legal loopholes and interpretations, as it is common in any democratic country and in the EU itself.”

“Its governance has not only brought economic success to Poland but also revitalised its democracy, with increased voter turnout in successive elections and diverse opinions circulating in the public sphere through various media outlets.”

“Social power remained dispersed, with opposition-associated individuals holding positions in local authorities, private media, numerous institutions, and NGOs.”

“State institutions, including central ones, have employed individuals with differing political views. There have been no trials in Poland that could substantiate allegations of politicisation of the judiciary, and there have been no political prisoners,” says the statement from the ECR.

It continues: “Now it has changed – and democracy and freedom are in real danger.”

“For those who look at the current situation in Poland with honesty and without ideological bias, it is evident that the goal of Donald Tusk and his political allies is not on upholding the rule of law, freedom of the media, or the independence of the courts, but rather of grasping and maintaining total power without real opposition, ideological diversity in the public sphere and silencing conservative voices.”

“Since taking office on 13 December, Donald Tusk has demonstrated a lack of intention to respect the law, the Constitution, and the principles of political decency.

“This was exemplified by the illegal takeover by force of the public media and the appointment of journalists who are completely subservient to the new government. Moreover, two opposition MPs have been arrested despite their immunity and the pardon by the President of Poland. The dismissal of the National Prosecutor in violation of legal procedures and the purges in various cultural institutions and think tanks have further showed no adherence to the rule of law.

“The black, caricatural image of Poland that has been constructed over the years is now being used to justify and legitimise actions that make this image reality. Prime Minister Donald Tusk has proclaimed the end of the “PiS occupation” of Poland, which implies his refusal to recognise the results of the democratic elections held between 2015 and 2023.”

“This undermines the legitimacy of the Polish governmental and other institutions during that time, as well as the validity of the legal regulations enacted during that period. Tusk suggests clearly that the alleged “occupiers” have no right to participate in public life anymore.  Furthermore, it is implied that not only are the laws enacted during that period invalid, but also that Tusk has the authority to suspend the Constitution and the law in general in order to “restore the rule of law.”

The statement concludes: “These declarations and actions have been received with great concern by prominent law professors and other lawyers, including those known for their critical assessment of PiS governments. The rule of law cannot be restored by lawlessness. And only someone very naïve can believe that a government which uses unlawful and force-based methods will refrain from them in the future.”

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