News

ideaForum

Position of the Stefan Batory Foundation Legal Expert Group on the amendment to the law on the Supreme Court adopted on 21 November 2018

The Stefan Batory Foundation Legal Expert Group welcomes the direction of the normative changes resulting from the law of 21 November 2018 on amending the law on the Supreme Court (the Amendment Act). Efforts by civil society organisations, common courts, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court and EU bodies to protect the rule of law in Poland are starting to bear fruit.

ideaForum

More ambitious "Rights and Values Programme"?

To be an effective instrument for promoting European values, the "Rights and Values Programme" should have a broader scope and be open for civil society organizations working at the local, national and transnational level. Prof. Laurent Pech (Middlesex University London) confirms in a legal opinion written for the Stefan Batory Foundation that these goals are compatible with European law in general and the legal basis proposed by the European Commission in particular.

ideaForum

European Civil Society Organisations call for a more ambitious Rights and Values Programme

The "Rights and Values Programme", currently negotiated by EU institutions, could become an effective measure to promote European values. However, in its current form it would have a very limited impact. Therefore a group of 154 Civil Society Organizations from 19 EU Member States calls on EU decision-makers to make the "Rights and Values Programme" more ambitious by increasing its budget, broadening the scope and simplifying accessibilty to funds.

ideaForum

Reset and continuation. The PiS government’s policy towards Belarus

Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) government’s policy of normalisation with Belarus has brought tangible effects. Economic exchange has grown and progress has been achieved in the field of memory policy and education of pupils from the Polish minority. However, Warsaw’s focus on economy along with silencing narrative on democratisation raise concerns among Belarusian opposition. “The normalisation of relations with Belarus should not mean that basic values are forgotten” – claims Krzysztof Mrozek in the policy paper by ideaForum of the Batory Foundation.

ideaForum

Devastation of Poland's Supreme Court

We present an urgent update on the ongoing devastation of the Polish Supreme Court. After the European Commission launched an infringement procedure against the unconstitutional Law on the Supreme Court, Polish authorities have not only refused to take back the law but went ahead with removing judges from their posts. Moreover, a drastic new law, passed on 20 July in unprecedented hurry, will allow the government to pack the Supreme Court and replace its chief justice as soon as possible, with very limited (if any) assessment of a given judge’s stature. The analysis, written by legal experts from the #FreeCourts initiative, outlines the status quo and calls on the Commission to urgently launch interim measures.

ideaForum

Analysis: "Why the Court of Justice of the European Union is competent to judge on infringement over the Law on the Supreme Court"

There is an ongoing discussion about the European Commission potentially launching an infringement procedure over the Polish Law on the Supreme Court. In this context a question concerns the competence of the Court of Justice of the EU to judge the case.

We present an analysis on this issue by two prominent legal experts, Dr. Piotr Bogdanowicz and Dr. Maciej Taborowski. The authors argue in ten short points that provisions of the Law on the Supreme Court might jeopardize the principle of irremovability of judges and thus violate Articles 2 and 19(1) of the Treaty on the EU as well as Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. On this basis they conclude that if the European Commission launched an infringement procedure over the Law on the Supreme Court, the Court of Justice of the EU would be competent to judge it.

Analytical Reports: Poland in an Open Europe

Where the law ends | The collapse of the rule of law in Poland – and what to do

Piotr Buras (head of the Warsaw Office of the European Council on Foreign Relations) and Gerald Knaus (chairman of the European Stability Initiative in Berlin) show how serious consequences for Poland and the European Union the politicization of courts in Poland will have. They argue that appealing against the Law on the Supreme Court to the Court of Justice of the EU by the European Commission is necessary. 

ideaForum

Report on the consequences of legislative initiatives on independence of judiciary in Poland

Legal Expert Group of the Stefan Batory Foundation presents a report on the consequences of legislative initiatives on independence of judiciary in Poland in 2015-2018. The report was prepared with regard to breach of the rule of law in Poland.

The Poland-Ukraine Forum

A statement of the Polish members of the Polish-Ukrainian Dialogue Group

The Polish members of the Polish-Ukrainian Dialogue Group (Grupa Polsko-Ukraińskiego Dialogu) warn against the possible fatal consequences of introducing the amendment to the act on the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) for the relationship between our nations and countries. The statement was sent also to Ukrainian media.

Public Integrity

Major challenges regarding the draft law on 'transparency' in public life

The new legislation on public transparency makes deep incursions into citizens' rights. Drafted by secret services, the bill intends to address issues regarding public transparency. It is not clear what issues it wants to address since no needs analysis has been presented.

Non-governmental organisations are appealing to Mr. President

Organisations are appeaing to Mr. President to veto two acts changing the functioning of the National Council of the Judiciary in Poland and the Supreme Court.

A normative crisis: the need to protect democratic values in Europe

How to make the

EU financial mechanism support common values? A policy memo by Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz.

Open Europe

A normative empire in crisis – time for a politics of values

When it is easier to receive European funding for pro-democratic activities in Belarus than in any EU Member State, we ought to think of a coherent European values policy. Read our newest report A normative empire in crisis – time for a politics of values by Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz.

Open Europe

The Minsk (dis)agreement and Europe’s security order - report

The conflict in Donbass is part of a much bigger confrontation, namely Russia's attempt to challenge the security order in Europe. Therefore, sanctions against Moscow should be presented as a mechanism aimed at preserving peace and stability on the continent - claim Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz and Piotr Buras in our recent report The Minsk (dis)agreement and Europe’s security order.
[english version] [polish version]

Open Europe

Polish views of the EU: the illusion of consensus - report

In May 2016 the Stefan Batory Foundation published a report entitled Change in Poland, but what change? on the far-reaching changes in Poland’s foreign policy, particularly the European policy, that were introduced by the Law and Justice Party (PiS) government after winning the elections in October 2015.
In the new report, entitled Polish views of the EU: the illusion of consensus, the authors - Adam Balcer, Piotr Buras, Grzegorz Gromadzki and Eugeniusz Smolar evaluate the level of support for the European Project.
[english version] [polish version]

A time to stand to stand together #IstandwithCEU

After recent push of CEU from Hungary and continuous hateful attacks on its founder, 50 philanthropic leaders condemn the violence directed to civil society activists and declare to stand side by side ready to defend civil society peers. "Civil society is an essential pillar of democracy. Without it, our democracy is diminished. We are proud to support it. We stand ready to defend it" - say representatives in the statement. 

Beata Pawlak Fund

Award winner in the Beata Pawlak Fund

Ewa Wanat is this year award winner in the Beata Pawlak Fund for the book "Deutsche nasz. Reportaże berlińskie", An award is presented annually to the author(s) of books or series of articles dealing with other cultures, religions and civilizations, published in Poland.

ideaForum

Position of the Stefan Batory Foundation’s Legal Expert Group on the procedure for selecting Supreme Court judges

The Stefan Batory Foundation’s Legal Expert Group highlights that the selection procedure for Supreme Court (SN) judges currently underway is invalid because the Polish President’s notice of 24 May 2018 on judges’ vacancies at the SN initiating it was not signed (countersigned) by the Prime Minister.

ideaForum

Functioning of the Constitutional Tribunal 2014-2017

We present an introduction to the report of the Stefan Batory Foundation Legal Expert Group “Functioning of the Constitutional Tribunal 2014-2017”. The report was prepared with regard to breach of the rule of law in Poland.

Regulation on the Rights and Values programme

On 30 May 2018 the European Commission published a draft proposal for a Regulation on the “Rights and Values Programme” as part of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027. We present our opinion on the proposal. Without major changes the instrument will fall short of reaching this goal. Dramatic challenges to European values require a new approach to value-promotion.

Analytical Reports: Poland in an Open Europe

European Commission should uphold infringement procedure over Law on Ordinary Courts

Michał Wawrykiewicz (Attorney-At-Law, Free Courts Initiative) argues that that the European Commission should uphold its infringement procedure as long as the Polish government does not offer concessions sufficiently eliminating the danger of political interference in judicial independence. Since there are no meaningful concessions there is no basis for withdrawing the complaint.

Analytical Reports: Poland in an Open Europe

EVI - promotion of democratic values

The European Values Instrument can provide a much-needed boost to the weakened resilience of European democracies. However, the details of its structure will determine whether this opportunity will be grasped.

Your Vote, Your Choice

Grass roots initiative now compulsory in Poland

Participatory budgets slowly growing in popularity in Poland since 2011, will now be compulsory in all major urban centres in the country. Our expert - Grzegorz Makowski is talking in Polish Radio about the concept of participatory budgets and how they are being implemented in Poland and why making them mandatory under the law is not a good idea.

Public Integrity

Call of 29 NGOs for Stopping the Amendment of the Public Fund-raising Law

We call for stopping the amendment of the Public Fund-raising Law. The Public Fund-raising Law is unique in that it offers a simple process to fund-raisers, ones that is clear for donors and, importantly, very safe for the regulator. This has encouraged citizens and civil society to engage in fund-raising to support good cause initiatives, especially ones that call for immediate action, e.g. natural disasters.

Better electoral law

Amendments to the Electoral Code may be inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland and international standards

Piotr Uziębło, PhD, in an expert opinion drawn up for the Stefan Batory Foundation negatively assesses the modifications to the legislation proposed by the parliamentary majority.

Open Europe

Report: In a clinch - The European policy of the PiS government

The key problems in the PiS government’s European and foreign policy is an extremely ideological attitude combined with lack of cohesion. See our newest report: In a clinch - The European policy of the PiS government [PDF]

Public Integrity

Statement on the constitutionality of the provisions in the new law of the Supreme Court

The Group of Legal Expert at the Stefan Batory Foundation presented the statement on the constitutionality of the provisions in the new law of the Supreme Court.

Citizens for Democracy

Statement about the Citizens for Democracy programme

In connection with false information about the Citizens for Democracy programme disseminated in a position paper developed by the Confederation of Non-governmental Initiatives of the Republic of Poland established on February 19, 2017, and affiliating a dozen or so organisations that describe themselves as conservative right-wing, we are making the following statement

Open Europe

Prepare for a new Europe - policy paper

Angela Merkel’s visit to Poland comes at an unprecedented time for Poland and Europe. Our latest commentary Prepare for a new Europe by Piotr Buras, facilitates a view of Angela Merkel’s visit within the broader perspective of the problems of the new context of Polish-German relations in a changing Europe.
[english version] [polish version]

Open Europe

A farewell to Giedroyc - policy paper

We observe a fundamental turn-around in the eastern policy of Poland. Support for democracy in its eastern neighbourhood is ceasing to be a priority. At the forefront of this change is the issue of the promotion of Polishness - claims Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, the director of the Open Europe Programme.
[english version] [polish version] [russian version]

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