Polish MEP slams European Parliament report on rule of law in Poland

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During a debate in the European Parliament about the rule of law and LGBT rights in Poland, Conservative Law and Justice (PiS) MEP Patryk Jaki slammed what he said was a left-wing attempt to attack freedom of speech and impose its will on the sovereign Polish nation.

The EU commissioner for justice Vera Jourova spoke during the debate and promised action would be taken against Poland. Jourova said the EU executive would soon decide on how to push forward the EU law infringement procedure against Poland. She also warned that in case of violating fundamental rights of LGBT people, Poland would not receive EU funds.

The rule of law debate was conducted on the basis of a draft report prepared by the socialist Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, the head of the committee for judicial and internal affairs (LIBE).

Conservative Law and Justice (PiS) MEP Patryk Jaki lambasted the report in a speech. He said that his colleagues saw everything that was not left-wing as being an infringement of the rule of law.

“Banning judges from political activity is a fundamental issue for the independence of courts. In your opinion, it violates the rule of law,” said the former Polish deputy justice minister.

Jaki appealed to MEPs to consider whether they had any understanding of how democracy works:

“Do you understand what democracy is based on? How important for democracy is the freedom of speech? The ability to form political parties, Christian and conservative political groups that Robert Schumann created. We in Poland are familiar with your ideology. In the past, we had communists using such language, calling censorship the protection of freedom just as you today describe taking action against left-wing thugs an attack on tolerance,” said Jaki in the European Parliament.

The Polish MEP was referring to protests against the arrest of an LGBT activist “Margot” who was detained for acts of vandalism and violence against a pro-life activist and vehicle.

He also said there were no “LGBT-free” zones in Poland and that it was only a joke made by “left-wing activists”.

“They sent you pictures, and you fell for it,” he said.

The full speech in English can be seen in a video posted on social media:

Jaki went to list a number of claims from the European Parliament regarding what constitutes a “violation” of rule of law.

“Do you know that we appointed the judicial council by the parliament like in Spain, by the same majority, like in Spain? And you say what? ‘In Spain, everything is good,” said Jaki.

Jaki said despite the similarities of Poland and Spain’s judicial council, only Poland is being singled out for attacks by the European Parliament. Jaki also said that the presence of one large conservative network in Poland is being a cause for the European Parliament to claim Poland is violating the rule of law.

Jaki said that even Poland’s parliament did not actually pass any law regarding abortion, but a mere debate on the issue of abortion in parliament was enough for the country to be accused of violating rule of law.

Jaki concluded his remarks by saying that EU politicians were not offended by a statue of Lenin in Germany, but found it offensive when Poland defended traditional family values.

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