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The S&D Group in the EP condemns the new media law in Poland as a mockery of freedom of speech


16 Aug 2021


Central Europe

Published: 12/08/2021

The Group of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament condemns the flagrant and arrogant attacks on freedom of speech done by the ruling coalition in Poland with the vote of the new media law, also known as Lex Anti-TVN. According to the S&D Group, it is crystal clear that Jarosław Kaczyński and his party Law and Justice will not stop until they grasp full control over every word in every media. The Socialists and Democrats in the EP find it absolutely unacceptable the way the majority in the Polish Sejm violated the voting procedure when the vote was not in favour of the media law and arbitrarily organised a second vote.

Polish S&D MEP Marek Belka, and vice-president of the S&D Group for international trade and engagement with citizens and institutions, said:

“What happened in the Polish Sejm yesterday was, yet again, a devastating mockery of democratic procedures and a blow to the most fundamental freedoms of the Polish people.

“To the very end, we hoped that the Law and Justice MPs would come to their senses and reject this bill, which clearly goes against the very essence of the public right to unbiased information and freedom of speech. Sadly, this marks yet another huge step in the deliberate plan of Jarosław Kaczyński to control everyone and everybody and secure his rule in Poland against any democratic standards, including through political corruption and blackmail.

“To me, personally engaged in the successful transformation of Poland from a communist regime to a thriving democracy, this is a real blow. But, you can be certain that all democratic forces in Poland will not stop fighting until any undemocratic deed of ‘Law and Justice’ is reversed, and those responsible will be punished.

“The rule of Kaczyński is trembling; actions of ‘Law and Justice’ become more desperate. While we need to be united to put this unlawful and unjust government out of power, we also need the EU to truly act and go beyond empty ‘concerned’ statements.”

Portuguese S&D MEP Pedro Marques, and vice-president of the S&D Group for a strong social and values-based Europe in the world and vice-president for communication and political planning, said:

“Some 10-15 years ago it was unthinkable to talk about captured states within the European Union. Now Poland becomes more and more such a captured state under the government of Mr. Mateusz Morawiecki and his party leader Jarosław Kaczyński. It is such an irony that the name of the ruling party is Law and Justice - in fact, their legislative practices have nothing to do with the rule of law or the sense of justice. The adoption of the new media law is again proof of this in what became a trend and a trademark for the ‘Law and Justice’ party long ago. It is regretful to see how other Polish parliamentarians from other political groups voluntarily covered their faces with this disgrace yesterday.

“We fully support our Polish colleagues in the Polish Sejm who bravely stood against this mockery of freedom of speech called ‘new media law’. We stand with the Polish nation who knows from bitter experience the price of freedom and how worthy it is fighting for it. They can count that we, the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, are on their side in this battle for democracy.”