Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O’Brien TD has called on Minister of State for European Affairs, Dara Murphy to take the opportunity at today’s General Affairs Council meeting being held in Brussels, to highlight Ireland’s concerns regarding Polish Government’s commitment to the rule of law.

“Despite repeated warnings from European colleagues and international bodies; the Polish Government continues to undermine the rule of law,” explained Deputy O’Brien.

“Their refusal to publish and implement the rulings of the Constitutional Tribunal and instead adopt additional legislation, appear to be part of a wider and worrying agenda where key freedoms are being restricted and the separation of powers is increasingly blurred.

“Today’s General Affairs Council meeting provides Ireland its first formal opportunity to raise the issue and send a strong message that respect for the rule of law and a legitimate legal system must be respected and upheld.

“I am growing increasingly concerned about nations within the European Union introducing domestic laws that are certainly against the spirit of the European Union and potentially violating the founding principles of the project. No member state can be allowed to disregard the values upon which the Union is based.

“While Brexit is clearly a very significant challenge facing the European Union, it is not the only threat. We must remain vigilant to the threats within and call them out when we see them.

“I am urging Minister Murphy to use the platform offered at today’s meeting to highlight our growing concerns regarding the threat to the rule of law in Poland and to confirm whether he has taken the opportunity.”