Poland’s Justice Minister refuses to confront facts

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"Today, the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice confirmed that there are serious problems with the rule of law in Poland. Despite this, Poland's Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro seems to be afraid to confront the facts. He persistently refuses to come to the European Parliament to answer questions from elected representatives. The Polish Government can’t be treated seriously when it approaches the rule of law so trivially. We call on the Polish Government to immediately implement all rule of law recommendations”, insisted Jeroen Lenaers MEP, the EPP Group's Spokesman on Civil Liberties, and Vladimir Bilčík MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in Parliament's Rule of Law Monitoring Group.

Lenaers and Bilčík made their statement today, ahead of a meeting with Polish judges and prosecutors in the Rule of Law Monitoring Group.

Lenaers stressed that today’s verdict by Poland's illegally-operating Constitutional Tribunal on the ousting of the Polish Ombudsman from his function "shows that the judiciary reform has not, as the government claims, depoliticised the Polish judiciary. On the contrary, judges and prosecutors who observe the rule of law are being repressed. The Constitutional Tribunal is staffed with persons directly linked to the governing majority. Today's verdict removing the Ombudsman was pronounced by a former Communist prosecutor. We also cannot forget Justice Minister Ziobro's statements that clearly undermine the verdicts of the European Court of Justice”, he said.

“The Polish Government seems intent on abolishing any semblance of a true justice system with highly politicised pseudo ‘verdicts’, the persecution of judges and prosecutors and the refusal to implement rulings of the European Court of Justice", reiterated Bilčík.

“We welcome that the European Commission has recently taken the Polish Government to the ECJ in an infringement procedure over the so-called ‘muzzle law’. We are awaiting the decision of the Court over interim measures to stop the further persecution of Polish judges. We urge the Commission to take further necessary action to prevent the PiS-led government's erosion of rule of law in Poland. For the sake of the Polish people, of Europeans and the European Union", concluded Lenaers.

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