Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that the European Union must do all it can to protect the rule of law in Poland.

O’Brien made his comments following the Law and Justice party’s subjugation of the judicial system and its plans to consolidate its control by effectively politicising the judiciary.

“Last week the Polish parliament adopted a series of laws which in effect weaken the judiciary and undermine judicial independence.

“When enacted the laws will dismantle an independent body that nominates judges and give the Justice Minister the authority to dismiss and nominate presidents of regional and appeal courts.

“These developments put the judiciary under political control and are an attack on the rule of law.

“The rule of law is a defining element of each state’s membership of the European Union and therefore I believe that the Commission must act on this.
“This is a matter not just for the Polish people; what is occurring in Poland flagrantly undermines the values and principle upon which the union was founded.

“Poland is not acting in the spirit of the European Union and their actions cannot go unchallenged.

“Whilst Brexit continues to dominate much of the political commentary, recent developments in Poland and also Hungary underscore that Europe is facing other significant challenges.

“It is imperative therefore that all member states who are committed to the principles of the EU remain united in their protection of them, and that we send a strong message that actions which undermine freedom and democracy in any European member State will not be tolerated.”