Eye on Poland

The collection of articles and columns in English from the authors of OKO.press

Šimečka: “There’s no Brussels police which could come and bend the Polish government to its will”

“The main political families in European Parliament are basically speaking with one voice when it comes to the rule of law and Poland. In this sense the Polish government and its MEPs are isolated," says Slovak MEP Michal Šimečka. He emphasises, however, that the ultimate condition of Polish democracy rests in the hands of Polish voters

We are sending 52 reports on ‘LGBT free zones’ to twin regions of the EU. Terminate the agreement!

OKO.press is calling on 52 EU partners of Polish municipalities and regions, which passed resolutions that they are ‘LGBT ideology-free’ zones, to terminate/suspend their partnership agreements. The civic report is an expression of the conviction that everything should be done to stop homophobic hatred in Poland and in Europe before it is too late

Minister Ziobro: “Speaker of the Senate breached the Constitution by inviting the Venice Commission”. No, he didn’t

“Representatives of the Ministry of Justice can meet with the representatives of the Venice Commission, treating their arrival a little like a quasi-private visit,” said Zbigniew Ziobro on 8 January. The minister is of the opinion that the invitation of the Commission by the Speaker of the Senate, Tomasz Grodzki, was an abuse. The facts speak differently

Kaczyński details PiS plans for completing its “reform” of the justice system

In the run-up to the elections PiS sought to calm emotions surrounding the justice system. Yet Kaczyński has stated on TV that the ruling party will complete its “reform”, overcoming “the last barrier”. He reveals a plan to reorganize courts. In practice, this will mean a vetting of all judges in the country and the removal of those who fail to toe the line

Poland’s Justice Minister continues dissembling about judiciary “reform”

The Law and Justice government argues that the reforms introduced since 2015 do not differ from solutions in place elsewhere. But PiS has politicised the National Council of the Judiciary, subjugated the Constitutional Tribunal and is trying to take over the Supreme Court. Every particular change is troubling, but all the more so when viewed in its entirety

The Obsession with Timmermans. “Anti-Polish”, “a tremendous saboteur”, “the European gendarme “

Polish government, arm in arm with Hungary, the Czech Republic and Italy, blocked Frans Timmermans’s candidacy for head of the European Commission. Over the last three years, the narrative of the Law and Justice party has portrayed him as a dark figure oppressing Poles in the name of "left-wing ideology" and his own career. Obvious lies.

Not only free courts in Poland, but also speedy and friendly. The Congress of Lawyers has a plan

Polish lawyers came up with a plan how to really reform judiciary - OKO.press reports in our series on rule of law in Poland. Publikujemy teksty po angielsku o praworządności w Polsce, aby pełna informacja o sytuacji w naszym kraju docierała do czytelników i czytelniczek za granicą. Udostępnij znajomym mieszkającym poza Polską. #RuleOfLawPL 

Disinformation network on FB supported by Polish deputy minister of digitization

Facebook has broken up a network of pages that spread fake news and Russian propaganda and promoted pro-Russian politicians in Poland for more than three years. It happened as a result of independent investigations carried out by a Polish investigative portal OKO.press and an international non-governmental organisation Avaaz

It has begun. Polish media under threat. The ruling party imposes a massive fine on a private broadcaster for reporting on anti-government protests

Polish National Broadcasting Council has just imposed the biggest fine in its history. It claims that by reporting on anti-government protests of December 2016, a private television station TVN24 has been “propagating unlawful actions”. The appeal, if made by the broadcaster, will end up in The Supreme Court - currently being taken over by the government

The end of independent judiciary in Poland. PiS government violates the Constitution and assumes control over all courts

Law and Justice party (PiS), has been ruling in Poland for nearly two years, since the election in November, 2015 gave them a steady majority in the parliament. Yet it took them just one day to overturn the democratic order in the country once and for all. Since July 12th 2017 all courts in Poland are now under threat of being controlled by the ruling party