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Rule of law in Poland - 8th parliamentary term

Rule of law in Poland - 8th parliamentary term

Description

Since the Law and Justice party (PiS) won both the presidential and parliamentary elections in Poland in autumn 2015, the new government has undertaken a series of reforms that critics say restrict democracy.

Freedom and pluralism: President Schulz of Parliament, and Commission vice-president Timmermans have voiced concern for the freedom and pluralism of Poland’s public-service television and radio and for the status of the Constitutional Court. On 13 January the Commission decided to start the first stage of the "Framework for addressing systemic threats to the Rule of Law" in Poland.

Women’s rights in Poland: the current sexual and reproductive health law in Poland is among the most restrictive in the EU but it does reflect a political consensus reached by all the parties years ago. This consensus has recently been put at risk by the pro-life movements calling for a total ban on abortion. Their “Pro- Right to Life” proposal (“citizen initiative”) and the restrictive act on IVF have been passed on for further work in the Polish parliament while a “Save the Women” proposal (a rival bid to liberalise access to legal abortion and introduce a large package of sexual and reproductive health services”) has been rejected despite earlier assurances that citizens’ initiatives will not be rejected without consideration in committees.