Today, national governments are meeting in the General Affairs Council of the EU. They will discuss, among other things, the state of the rule of law in Poland. In May governments in the Council discussed the situation in Poland for the first time. This was an unprecedented move: never before had the member states scrutinised the fundamental rights problems of one of their own. Since May, the European Commission has tried to re-open talks with the Polish government with a view to restoring the rule of law. However, the Polish government has continued to ignore the Commission’s recommendations and is proceeding with reforms aimed at undermining the rule of law, fundamental rights and the democratic process.
Together with our member, the Polish Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Liberties has written to the Chair of the General Affairs Council explaining why the member states should now activate Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union. In addition to threats to judicial independence and media freedom, we outline growing obstacles to the work of NGOs in Poland that promote the EU’s fundamental values.