Poland’s threatened democracy

We, Young European Socialists (YES) express our greatest concern over the recent actions of the Polish government. Poland, once a model of democratization, is now following the dangerous path of illiberal democracy.

Among the first measures introduced by the right-wing, nationalist government are the cutdown of the powers of the constitutional court, the takeover of the public media, the removal of the European Union flags from government press briefings or the introduction of the new surveillance law that allows the secret services to extend surveillance on citizens without prior judiciary approval.

The list of alarming and discriminative measures does not stop there. The Jarosław Kaczyński led Pis, as soon as it got into power, decided to stop the financing of in vitro fertilization program and clearly spoke out against LGBTI rights and the self-determination of women.   

The similarity between the ‘achievements’ of the new Polish government and that of Mr Orbán’s is highly disturbing as it shows a frightening tendency within the EU. That is why we are greatly perplexed by the fact that the European Council, so far, has not shown enough firmness towards the Polish government. And while being very vigilant when it comes to breaches on budgetary matters, the European Commission can take no measure in case of persistent breaches of democratic principles, on which the Union was created. EU countries must be accountable to democratic principles such as the respect for freedoms, human rights and gender equality.

The path that the Polish government has chosen is risky and dangerous for the country as well as for the whole of Europe. Cutting back democratic rights never served any country for the better. The radical and divisive politics only create tension and hatred where there was solidarity before, driving away people from their daily issues.

We, Young European Socialists want a Europe where people can enjoy their fundamental rights instead of being forced to constantly fight for them. We,  want a Europe based on  democratic principles” and not divided by extreme right forces and irresponsible policies. And finally, we want a Europe where heads of governments are not engaged in a race to the bottom regarding integration. To achieve this, we expect EU leaders to stand up to the blackmail of euro-sceptic, nationalist political forces and push for more integration, not less!

 

The text was written by YES working group on fight against right wing extremism.
For more information you can contact Roland Gur, working group coordinator.

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