Poland is more than a country: it’s a cause! (Συμβούλιο της Ευρώπης, 28.01.2020)

Debate on the functioning of democratic institutions in Poland, Dimitrios Kairidis (Greece EPP/CD), Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Winter Session, 28.01.2020:

“Esteemed colleagues, we must have read a different report given my predecessor’s comments about it. For all of us including all the members of the Greek delegation who are committed to a united, democratic, liberal Europe, Poland is more than a country, it is a cause. We are all very invested in the success of Poland, a nation that in the past embodied the tragedies but more recently the resilience and determination of all Europeans to build a better future out of the catastrophes of the 20th century. Poland has been a stellar performer of the transition from communism to a market economy and democracy. A poster child of the success of Europe. As a result, the last 30 years have been the best 30 years in modern Polish history. This unprecedented achievement, thanks to the hard work of the Polish people first and foremost, is today in peril.

While economic convergence continues, political divergence with the back- pedalling of the rule of law in Poland during the last five years is taking place. We have a report to approve, written in a moderate and restraint language. However, during the last few days, the Polish government has decided to ignore it despite the outcry of the European Commission, the European Court of Justice, the Venice Commission and the very Senate of Poland. It is now up to us to stand by the values that underpin our Assembly and send a powerful message to the Polish government to stop and reverse course, and to the Polish people that we are here to help restore the rule of law in their great nation. Thank you.”