ASTRA Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health

The European Parliament is calling on Poland to address the current restrictions to the independence of the judiciary, freedom of assembly, sexual and reproductive rights, and denial of asylum-seekers’ access to the Polish territory.

The Parliament adopted a resolution that highlights the further deterioration of the situation in Poland since the previous European Parliament resolution on these issues in September last year.

The resolution, which was proposed by GUE/NGL and other parliamentary groups (EPP, S&D, ALDE and the Greens/EFA), passed with the support of a large majority of MEPs.

Many of GUE/NGL’s amendments on the key issue of further restrictions to sexual and reproductive rights were also adopted as part of the resolution.

GUE/NGL Shadow for the resolution, Barbara Spinelli, explains: "The reason why we are adopting a fourth resolution on Poland is not to punish a member state, but to remind us all of the bond that keeps us together, i.e. the legal basis which all the member states have endorsed. I refer to the rule of law in its full extent as a notion encompassing human rights, judicial independence and jurisdictional guarantees, freedom of expression and separation of powers."

"Once elected in this House, we have the obligation to represent all the citizens of the Union without any distinctions based on nationality or constituency, and the primary duty to assure that the bedrocks of citizenship – i.e. human rights and fundamental freedoms – are fully guaranteed.

"By instructing the European Parliament to draft a report that could lead to the triggering of article 7(1), we are asking ourselves to ensure that we live up to our responsibility to the citizens and to commit to continuing the ongoing dialogue with a member state. After all, as the European Parliament, the Treaty has equipped us with this sole tool," clarifies the Italian MEP.

Swedish MEP, Malin Björk, adds: “Today this house is sending a strong message to the Polish government: every time they try to reduce or restrict women's and girls' rights, we are here, standing up to stop them. We are here to echo the voices of the Polish defenders of women's rights and reproductive rights because fundamental rights and democracy are universal human rights."

"Restricting women's right to access the morning-after contraceptive pill or preparing campaigns against women's right to control their own bodies or their right to access safe and legal abortion will be met with huge resistance from the feminists of the European Parliament. We are standing side by side with our Polish sisters!"

Source: GUE/NGL

Official press release by the European Parliament