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Russia’s war on Ukraine puts the entire future European order at risk. It is already forcing a profound reconsideration of the EU’s and its neighbours’ interests. The EU needs to devise a new approach to its neighbourhood, similar to the way in which it has rapidly enhanced its security and economic policies to respond to the threat. The EU should establish a Partnership for Enlargement that offers Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and Western Balkans states concrete steps towards deeper integration – writes Kai-Olaf Lang nad Piotr Buras.
When following the news on Russian aggression in Ukraine, we have no doubt that this is where the future is now being made, and that it will largely depend on the men and women of Ukraine. That is why we invite Ukrainian experts, publicists and journalists, as well as people of culture, to talk to us. What makes the Ukrainian resistance so effective, and why is the Ukrainian society so resilient? What are the limitations of a peace agreement? What do the Ukrainians want with regard to the European Union, NATO, and other alliances? What will the relations between Ukraine and its neighbouring countries be like? Let’s hear what they have to say!
We, the representatives of civil society organisations in Poland, strongly protest against the attack on independent Ukraine by the troops of the Russian Federation. We express solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine, forced to fight militarily in defence of their country, and all the victims of the aggression, which has been going on since 2014 and to this day has brought death to thousands of people while forcing millions to leave their homes. In this terrible hour of trial you are not alone!
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, people fleeing attacks by Russian troops have been coming to Poland. They include Ukrainian citizens as well as people from other countries who have found their home in Ukraine. We should remember that they are all fleeing from the same enemy and are in the same situation. They must all be allowed into Poland and treated on an equal basis. Hence, both the actions at the border itself and the regulations planned by the Polish Government must extend the same level of assistance and protection to all those fleeing.
We launched the Ukraine Solidarity Fund that offers institutional support to social organisations that provide systematic and long-term assistance to people fleeing war in Ukraine. Grants can be awarded to organisations providing direct humanitarian, medical, legal, psychological, social assistance to people crossing the border, as well as those offering long-term support in Poland (including assistance in finding accommodation and employment, child care, adaptation to new conditions, etc.).
В Європі триває війна. 24 лютого 2022 року війська Російської Федерації заатакували Україну. Збройні Сили України дали рішучу відсіч агресору, завдаючи йому великих втрат. Українська держава та її інституції функціонують безперервно, політична влада на загальнодержавному та локальному рівні діє в рамках суспільного мандату. Водночас триває евакуація цивільного населення з теренів, безпосередньо охоплених воєнними діями. Тисячі людей вирушили у напрямку західних регіонів України, багато осіб вирішує перетнути кордон.
The contributions included in the present document on the rule of law in Poland, in 2021 are submitted by civil society
organisations to the European Commission within the framework of the targeted stakeholder consultation the European Commission launched in relation to its 2022 Annual Rule of Law Report. The document follows the structure and applies the headings of the European Commission’s stakeholder consultation survey.
By directly appointing an unqualified candidate to lead the Zachęta gallery, rather than holding an open call for the position, the culture ministry risks harming one of Poland’s most important cultural institutions. It is not too late to change the decision – writes Piotr Kosiewski and Edwin Bendyk.
On October 7, 2021 the Polish Constitutional Tribunal ruled that some provisions of the Treaty on European Union are incompatible with the Polish constitution and questioned the powers of the CJEU to rule on the independence of the judiciary in Poland. What are the legal consequences of this ruling? Legal opinion written by Piotr Bogdanowicz.
The green transition presents a particularly daunting challenge in Poland, due to the country’s dependence on coal, strong political polarisation, and populist model of state governance. In such conditions, is it possible to reach a social consensus on the goals and implementation of the green transition? What is the risk that the process will become another source of polarisation and social instability? See the online debate.
The ruling of the government-controlled Constitutional Tribunal opens the next stage of the political and legal confrontation between the Polish government and the European Union. During the online debate by ECFR Warsaw and ideaForum of the Batory Foundation we will discuss what are the consequences of judgment for Poland and for the European Union. We will ask experts whether Poland has actually entered the path of polexit and what the EU should do to defend its legal space and protect the authority of the CJEU.
The Constitutional Tribunal decision directly undermines the principles that Poland committed to when it joined the EU in 2004. The ruling on the unconstitutionality of the TUE provisions is not only a blatant violation of EU law, but also a violation of the Polish Constitution, based on which Poland respects the international law – writes The Legal Experts Group of the Batory Foundation.
A new issue could soon be added to the growing list of ways in which Poland is accused of violating EU law: the media market and the country’s National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT). Bills regulating the KRRiT – including the latest one, which is meant to lead to the sale of private broadcaster TVN – do not secure its independence – writes Szymon Ananicz.
Legal Experts Group: The so-called “reforms” of the Polish judiciary introduced over the past few years are actually destroying it. They violate both the Constitution and European Union law, because the Constitution and the founding Treaties are built on the same axiological basis – the values of the democratic state and the rule of law.
The European Union is not merely a community based on democracy and the rule of law. It is also an organisation which functions in a way advantageous to undemocratic governments and may strengthen their authoritarian impulses.
A breakdown of the rule of law in Poland from an upcoming ruling by its constitutional court and the parallel inflow of huge EU funds will prove a toxic mix with ramifications for the entire bloc – writes Piotr Buras.
We warn that if the Constitutional Tribunal rules in accordance with the Prime Minister’s petition, Poland will be in violation of the international obligations to which it freely consented. The state will then be obliged to bear responsibility for this or may be forced to leave the European Union in order to withdraw from its commitments.
In public policy, in which party programmes translate into specific public decisions, closer contact with citizens was deemed to make these decisions not only more acceptable for society but also qualitatively better and closer to the realities of everyday life – writes Grzegorz Makowski.
Prof. Jarosław Flis and Prof. Paweł Swianiewicz examine the distribution of funds from the third instalment of the CGFLI. The average municipality with a ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) mayor still received over ten times more in grants.
The Central Government Fund for Local Investments created a divide into categories of “better” and “worse” or “our” and “your” local authorities. With an extremely non-transparent procedure and arbitrary evaluation criteria, the money seems to have been split based on the local authority’s political colours.
As representatives of civil society organisations, we object to the hostile takeover of the office of Ombudsman by the ruling parliamentary majority. We consider any attempt to bypass the Sejm and the Senate when appointing an acting Ombudsman to be a circumvention of the provisions of the Constitution.
The compromise made at the European Union summit in December 2020 does not end the battle to protect the rule of law in the EU. We present possible further initiatives for EU institutions, civil society organisations, European parties and member states.
After many weeks of wrangling, the EU summit brough a compromise over the EU’s budget and the rule of law mechanism. Is this result a success for Poland and Hungary or for their opponents?
Due to the degradation of the separation of powers and of the rule of law in Poland the risk of corruption increases. In the study we describe in detail the Polish government’s (anti-)corruption activities in 2015–2019 and present the way out.
EU-wide legislation should be adopted to protect people across the European Union from Strategic Lawsuit against Public Participation (SLAPP). This has to be a priority – together with 100 NGOs we singed an open letter.
Foundations, associations, social cooperatives, rural housewife circles, and other organisations can apply for co-financing. The amount designated for grants is almost 10,5 million of EUR. Grants will be awarded for activities in three areas, which are active citizenship, human rights and equal treatment, and empowerment of vulnerable groups.
A debate on corruption in the context of two massive crises that go beyond individual countries’ borders: the rule-of-law crisis and the pandemic crisis. During two sessions we discussed our current reality, the lessons that will help us avoid similar turmoil in the future, and how we can overcome the challenges that we face today.
The Law and Justice (PiS) government is misleading the public over its dispute with Brussels over the EU budget and rule-of-law conditionality. In doing so, it is stirring up sentiment against the EU, Poland’s European partners and the western social model. We debunk five of the main myths pushed by PiS politicians.
The European Parliament and the German Presidency of the Council of the EU clinched a deal. The agreement foresees a significant increase in the budget for the Justice, Rights and Values programme, raising from 0.8 to €1.6 billion. Hundreds of civic organisations advocated for a budget that provides support to civil society organisations promoting and protecting common European values.
Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election in the United States is good news for Europe and Poland. However, even if it is followed by attempts to create a new transatlantic partnership, rebuilding this alliance will entail many difficult decisions – writes Piotr Buras.
From 385 projects approved for the detailed project submission stage, 223 have been awarded the following number of grants, divided into thematic outcomes:
We believe that national courts ought to apply existing mechanisms designed to protect human rights and liberties, including the diffused constitutional review of the legislation and constitutionally-minded interpretations – writes The Legal Experts Group.
Belarusian singer Nasta Niakrasava performs Jacek Kaczmarski’s “Mury” (Walls) with the accompaniment of Jacek Kleyff. Translated into Belarusian by Andrei Khadanovich, the legendary song of the Catalan singer Lluis Llach “L’Estac”, became an opposition anthem before the presidential elections in Belarus.
The scale of the newly-announced report by the EC on the state of the rule of law in the EU is not commensurate with the size of the problem. The same is true of the current version of the draft legislation on introducing a mechanism for defending the rule of law – write Szymon Ananicz and Piotr Buras.
European civil society has played an unprecedented role in mitigating the impact of Covid-19 in EU member states. Yet the European Commission proposed to reduce budget for CSOs in the new MFF Rights and Values programme.
Szymon Ananicz from ideaForum and Alberto Alemanno call for European Commission to increase the budget for civil society.
The Open Society Institute – Sofia Foundation launches a call for proposals by civil society organisations seeking to support the inclusion of so far marginalized and excluded groups and communities to address climate justice issues in the countries of Central Eastern Europe.
All of Poland is applauding healthcare workers for their heroism and backbreaking work – they are heroes of our time. Yet, for the authorities, they are only heroes as long as they do not question official statements. If they do, they become seen as disloyal workers – writes Marcin Waszak.
On 26 June the Batory Foundation Council at its annual meeting elected Batory Foundation Board for the new two-years term (2020-2022). The Council elected Edwin Bendyk as a new Chair of the Board and Prof. Andrzej Rychard as a new Chair of the Council.
The signatories to this letter call on all public authorities and institutions to protect those who report or expose the harms, abuses and serious wrongdoing that arise during this period of crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with European Civic Forum and many other CSO we sign an open letter to the President of the European Commission, members of the European Parliament, President of the European Council and members of the Gov. of EU Member States.
As representatives of non-governmental organisations and scholars specialising in matters relating to the rule of law and the protection of human rights, we write this open letter so as to urge you to take immediate steps to stop the rapidly increasing legal chaos in Poland.
We present a legal opinion prepared by professor Piotr Bogdanowicz about the consequences of the landmark ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU on the Poland’s National Council of the Judiciary and the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court.
Lawyers of civil society group #FreeCourts Initiative comment of the current state of Rule of Law and recommend further intensive action by the European Union to provide judical protection. The most effective instrument has proved to be the EC’s complaint to the CJEU together with a request for an interim measure.
At a time when Polish politicians disagree about almost everything, one subject is hardly discussed at all: policy towards Russia. We present the analysys by Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz from forumIdei.
Dorota Setniewska from the NGO Klon/Jawor Association, a leading partner in Civitates: a new set up aimed at boosting the presence of civil society organizations in Poland, explains what has changed in recent years.
Ahead of negotiations of multiannual EU budget, the Batory Foundation initiates an advocacy campaign to increase EU funding for civil society organisations which promote and protect European values within the EU.
Instances of propaganda, picture and voice manipulation, false and fake news and hate speech were recorded during the monitoring of the main news programme of Polish public TV “Wiadomości”.
Along with 75 organisations we sign an open letter to urge the EU Council to adopt the Parliament’s position on reporting channels.