EU Parliament backs Polish MEP in Communist ‘witch-hunt’

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A government probe into Poland’s troubled Communist past has spilled over to Brussels as Polish MEP and former foreign minister Bronislaw Geremek risked losing his mandate over his refusal to sign a certificate stating that he did not collaborate with secret police. 

Members of the European Parliament rallied behind Geremek on 26 April as the Polish MEP received official warnings that he risked being stripped of his mandate.

Graham Watson, leader of the Liberal & Democrat group of which Geremek is a member, considered that the legal pretext used by the Polish government the so-called lustration law was equivalent to a “witch hunt”. He directly addressed  Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering, asking whether it was possible for an MEP to be “stripped of their democratically elected mandate in this way”.

Pöttering stated: “Mr. Geremek is a political personality of the highest esteem who has always stood up for democracy in his country and for European unification.” He added: “We will examine all legal possibilities that he can continue his work.”

Under the lustration law put forward by the Polish government lead by the Kaczynski twins, politicians, academics and journalists need to make a declaration on whether they collaborated with the Communist-era secret services. Those who refuse to comply face losing their jobs.

The Polish Constitutional Court is currently examining the legality of the lustration law.

Just a day before, the Parliament urged Poland to drop a new law banning discussion of homosexuality in schools. The plenary carried a resolution calling for worldwide de-criminalisation of homosexuality and urging all EU governments to tackle discrimination against same-sex couples. The recent developments only add to EU concerns over homophobic tendencies in Poland.

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