Liberal and Democrat MEPs to defend the rights of EU citizens in the UK; demand EU free movement laws upheld >
During a debate today in plenary about the situation of the rule a law, democracy and fundamental rights in Poland, ALDE Group first vice-president Sophie in 't Veld, sent a message to Polish citizens: the European Parliament is on their side.
The ALDE Group considers that the PiS government is robbing Polish citizens of their fundamental rights. The Constitutional crisis, the Government's possible withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention and the new bill on public gatherings are a violation of the fundamental rights of Polish citizens. Sophie in 't Veld, ALDE group first vice-president, said: "Thousands of Polish citizens, including our sister party Nowoczesna, are marching to protest. We stand with all of them. The European Parliament stood with the Polish people in 2012 to condemn the anti-Polish website of the Dutch Freedom Party. The European Parliament stood with the Polish people this summer, to mourn the death of a Polish citizen in the UK, victim of a xenophobic hate crime. Today we stand with the Polish people as the Government is eroding the rights and freedoms of the Polish citizens. This is not what Polish people voted for in 2015. Like all EU citizens, Polish citizens are entitled to an independent judiciary. Like all European women, Polish women are entitled to protection against domestic violence. Polish women have a right to free choice. Polish people have the right to freedom of assembly, as well as freedom of expression and thought".
European Liberals and Democrats also called on the Commission to propose to trigger Article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union. Commenting on this, In 't Veld said:
"On July 27th of this year, Mr Timmermans described the situation in Poland as "a systemic threat to the rule of law. If a systemic threat to the rule of law does not require the use of Article 7, then what does? The Commission is the custodian of the Treaties. It has the duty to act. It is not optional, it is a duty. It is the core task of the Commission."