Rule of law in Poland
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.
Civil Liberties MEPs also debate the ongoing probe, launched by the Commission, into respect for the rule of law in Poland, with Frans TIMMERMANS, First Vice-President of the EC in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The LIBE meeting has been postponed on 22 March from 17.30 to 18.30 (instead of 09/03/2017)