Presentation of Mrs Lidia Sokołowska-Cybart, lawyer-linguist from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
In waves of unwarranted domestic and international political and media criticism towards the newly elected Polish authorities public opinion is repeatedly exposed to inaccuracies and misrepresentations. So, it is worth repeating FACTS to prevent imprinting false messages and subconscious acceptance for unlawful and undemocratic faits accomplis, to the real detriment of Democracy and the Rule of Law in Europe.
FACT 1: There is no real EU legal procedure under the so-called Rule of Law Framework, as claimed to have been initiated against Poland by the European Commission on January 13, 2016. The Rule of Law Framework does not bind either Poland or other EU Member States or any other entity, except perhaps the Commission itself. Therefore, the Commission acted unlawfully, attempting to introduce unilaterally some procedures based on faits accomplis. BACKGROUND:The “procedure” has appeared recently in a document based apparently on an internal resolution of the Commission called quite satirically the Rule of Law Framework. Under the Article 7 of TEU, it is the European Council and not the Commission who has the authority to determine the status of the Rule of Law and other values in a Member State. The Commission merely has the right to make a proposal to the European Council, the same role as any one third of the Member States, and no other role.
FACT 2: The Commission’s internal resolutions, called the Rule of Law Framework and the resolution to apply it against Poland on 13 January 2016 have been adopted in a non-transparent, substandard way, e.g. there is no citation on the specific legal authority for the resolutions, no description of specific factual and normative objections, no description of each party’s position, no data on votes or dissents, not even on whether there was any voting at all, not to mention the names of the authors of the resolutions or any expert opinions considered or rejected, including an opinion of the so-called Venice Commission requested and awaited by Poland. Regrettably, there are also mixed, confusing messages from President Jean-Claude Juncker and First Vice President Frans Timmermans on the Commission’s position, as Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski informs. Therefore, the Commission proceeds not only without any legal basis but also in a non-transparent, hasty and substandard manner.
FACT 3: It is the common knowledge that the Commissioners are not elected democratically. The method of selecting a candidate for a Commissioner, despite some cosmetic guises, is arbitrary, non-transparent and lacks public scrutiny, as is the case for example of President Jean-Claude Juncker and First Vice President Frans Timmermans. Therefore, the Commission has no democratic mandate.
FACT 4: The European Parliament certainly may discuss any topic within the scope of the EU law. Yet, before the European Council decides to initiate any procedure under Article 7 of TEU, there is no legal “procedure” against Poland available unilaterally to the Parliament either. Therefore, any resolution of the Parliament against Poland at this time would be solely political and would have no legal meaning.
FACT 5: The Council of Europe is a legal entity separate from the European Union and the decision not to include any discussion on Poland in its agenda, taken on 25 January 2016 by its Parliamentary Assembly has no formal, legal bearing on the workings of EU. The Venice Commission, a constitutional expert organization consisting of member-states and individual expert members, is an organization working within the Council of Europe, not the European Union. The Venice Commission will provide in March, on request of Poland, the first internationally recognized expert opinion on the recent statutory changes on the Constitutional Tribunal in Poland. Therefore, the decision of the CE Parliamentary Assembly taken on 25 January 2016 is politically important and may be indicative of some European political trends but not necessarily mean any positive change in the EU Commission’s position.
FACT 6: There are significant issues requiring urgent attention and-most importantly-solutions by the institutions and all EU Member States, for example migration crisis, terrorism, EURO problems, Brexit, Nord Stream 2 and more. There are also serious, confirmed and urgent concerns in Germany and other EU Member States in the aftermath of the arbitrary migration decision of Chancellor Angela Merkel both on the media freedom as well as the Rule of Law; the former German Constitutional Tribunal judges spoke out about breaking the law by Merkel. Thus, at long last, why is the unelected EU Commission allowed to take up illegally some alleged case of the newly-elected Polish authorities while ignoring grave and long-lasting concerns in many other EU Member States, all certainly at the expense of valuable resources diverted from resolving very serious all-European issues?
(Editor’s note): We wish to thank Mrs. Elizabeth Kujbida and Mr. Waclaw Kujbida from Canadian-Polish Independent TV in Ottawa for allowing the publishing of this material.