Conservative. Perverted. Ideological. Repressive.
These five words actually sum up most of the government’s actions in Poland. Not only in Poland, I am aware of that, but in this writing, I want to concentrate on Poland, since the discussion and the resolution on this week’s plenary overshadowed everything else.
I am referring here to the recent political ruling of the Polish illegitimate Constitutional Court. Political because the Prime Minister himself requested an assessment. And illegitimate because 11 of the 14 constitutional judges were appointed by the ruling right-wing populist party PiS. According to the judgment, certain provisions of the founding treaties of the EU, those adopted by Poland upon its accession to the EU, are unconstitutional.
In short, the judgment shook the legal foundations of the Union. Of course, this is a political game of the Polish ruling clique, as they do not want to consider the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European, which decided that their disciplinary regime for judges (the so-called “muzzle law”) is inconsistent with European law. Neither the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, ruling that the Constitutional Court was illegally constituted.
At yesterday’s EU summit, leaders from member states discussed the situation in Poland. After a 2-hour discussion, supposedly a calm one (whatever that means), they finally agreed that – you won’t believe this – dialogue is needed. Prime ministers of countries that actually support democracy and the rule of law should be stricter in upholding (their) principles.
What happened at the plenary a few days earlier? The President of the European Commission strongly opposed the actions of the Polish government in the hall of the European Parliament, and even (!) announced measures. Well… hopefully it won’t turn out the way it normally does – eternal warnings, eternal calls, eternal worries. There are several possibilities for action, although their effect may differ.
In the European Parliament, we have thus passed a resolution calling for several decisive measures at once:
- initiating infringement proceedings concerning legislation because of the Polish illegal court;
- finally launching the new regulation we adopted at the end of 2020 which is now in force, and links the disbursement of European money with the rule of law;
- finally moving the process of the famous Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union forward in the Council, which freezes a country’s voting rights if the rule of law is violated;
- not approving the Polish Recovery and Resilience Plan until these issues are resolved.
The last measure would be most effective. It’s also about the bigger picture. The resources of the European Union are those of all its citizens who do not want to fund a corrupt government in Poland that wants to consolidate its power with this money. If such authoritarian authorities do not respect fundamental values, they will have to understand why funds will be frozen.
As it should be understood, these parties – including the Slovene Democratic Party SDS in terms of politics and ideology – do not defend traditional values, they reject them. The goal? Subordination of society and all subsystems for arbitrary governance and exploitation of public funds. Autocracy merely leads to kleptocracy. The EU has tolerated authoritarian regimes for too long and hoped that the situation would be resolved through dialogue. It only got worse.
It is no secret that with the current government Slovenia is following the same path as Poland and Hungary. Unfortunately. Even in the most optimistic scenario, the consequences of the dismantling in both countries will remain for decades.
Those of us who are on the side of democracy and the rule of law must be aware of the conditions that have brought these policies to power. Not only social status and inequality, but also the spiritual emptiness and dehumanization of a system that does not provide what people are entitled to: a decent life and inclusion. It is therefore high time to take decisive steps. In the end, such policies must also always be thrown out of power in the elections. Once again, it is high time.