Should the EU up the pressure on Warsaw?

The EU is questioning the rule of law in Poland and has tasked an EU Parliament committee with examining whether to launch infringement proceedings. The Polish government's judicial reforms are the main source of concern. For some commentators the debate has taken on hysterical proportions; others want to see tough action against Warsaw.

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Rzeczpospolita (PL) / 15 November 2017

Situation in Poland no big deal

The international media are making the situation in Poland look much worse than it is, writes Tomasz Krzyżak in Rzeczpospolita, describing his experiences during encounters with fellow journalists in Brussels:

“They bombard me with questions about what it's like there, because after all I am from Poland. Only a few understand my explanations that nothing in particular is going on, that [PiS leader] Jarosław Kaczyński is not establishing a dictatorship (at least not yet), that the opposition has the right to demonstrate, and that no one is being put in prison. ... The debate over the rule of law was a perfect opportunity to observe this. It's been a long time since I've heard so many myths about what is going on in Poland. ... If I ask why Malta and Spain are being treated differently and whether everything really is all right over there, the response is silence.”

Die Tageszeitung taz (DE) / 16 November 2017

The EU examines instead of taking action

When will the EU finally take action against the government in Warsaw? asks Eric Bonse, EU correspondent for the taz:

“Instead of triggering the proceedings under Article 7 of the EU treaty which can result in the suspension of voting rights, they have launched yet another inquiry. You scratch your head in wonder. Because what more do they think this inquiry can reveal? The EU Commission has already established that serious violations of Europe's fundamental values are taking place in Poland. No, the MEPs are shirking their responsibility, just like the Commission and the Council of Ministers. In the case of Poland the EU is proving to be a toothless tiger that examines and delays until in the end it is confronted with a fait accompli.”

Polityka (PL) / 16 November 2017

PiS has no arguments against its critics

Some MEPs of the Polish opposition party PO voted in favour of the resolution in the European Parliament. This prompted the leader of the PiS's parliamentary group, Ryszard Terlecki, to comment that in the next elections they should run in Germany or Belgium instead. Polityka is incensed:

“One gets the feeling that Beata Szydło's government has no arguments in the conflict over the rule of law and democracy in Poland. So all it can do is subject its opponents to accusations, derision and attacks. ... It's not the job of dignitaries of the ruling party to say on what lists and in which country opposition MEPs should run in the next elections. Such statements prolong the party's despicable tradition of excluding people it considers enemies and traitors from the debate - or even stripping them of their citizenship - just because they criticise its actions.”

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