*“Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids.” ― John Steinbeck, East of Eden
Poland’s far-right party is subverting democracy, and setting the country on a collision course with the EU.
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Poland is changing. In 2015, the far-right Law and Justice party, or PiS, won both the presidential election and a slim parliamentary majority.
- Since then, they’ve been working to cement their power by firing judges, purging the military and civil service, and cracking down on protesters and the media.
- All of this has put the country on a collision course with the European Union that could threaten Europe’s hard-won peace and prosperity following centuries of conflict.
- To truly understand the international conflicts and trends shaping our world you need a big-picture view. Video journalists Sam Ellis and Liz Scheltens use maps to tell the story and chart their effects on foreign policy.
Poland’s right-wing Law and Justice party government has revamped Poland’s judicial system since taking power in 2015 and many judges have been removed.
The ENCJ is particularly concerned about recent changes to the KRS, which is supposed to be independent of political control when proposing nominations to the bench. However, the KRS is now dominated by members chosen by politicians, raising fears that judicial autonomy has been undermined.
The decision comes during a week when the European Commission is likely to consider further action in an infringement procedure launched against Poland over a new law affecting the country’s Supreme Court. The law imposes a lower retirement age, removing many of the court’s judges including its president. Critics say the law violates the Polish constitution.
The government argues that the changes are needed to root out judges tied to the old communist system and to make the courts more efficient, and that Brussels doesn’t have the right to interfere in the legal systems of member countries.
The Polish Supreme Court asked the European Court of Justice to rule on the new law, and said the law should be suspended until the ECJ has time to issue an opinion. President Andrzej Duda has ignored that appeal, and there is now confusion over which judges are members of the court.
The EU deemed the move a “serious breach” of the core values on which the union was founded.
Conversely, Mr Duda insisted this latest referendum would strengthen Poland’s presence in the union. However, the move is set to deteriorate relations with Brussels even more.
The two questions on the EU’s relationship would be part of a wide-ranging constitutional referendum.
The vote, which Mr Duda said could take place on November 10-11, may ask as many as 15 questions.
YOUTUBE: Poland’s far-right party is subverting democracy, on a collision course with the EU.
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