Polish MEP Sylwia Spurek announced on Wednesday (30 September) she will transfer from the Socialists to the Greens group in the European Parliament, becoming the first Polish member of the now 69-strong group.
Spurek was first elected to the European Parliament in the 2019 European elections from the list of Robert Biedroń’s Spring party, with which she parted ways after only a few months to become an independent S&D lawmaker.
“I want to make it clear that my political goals and obligations towards my voters and female voters from Wielkopolska have not changed,” Spurek wrote in a statement.
In earlier comments to Polish PAP agency, she said that “the past year of the new European Commission – in my opinion – is a year wasted both for human rights, for the rule of law, and for the climate”.
Spurek had previously been Poland’s deputy commissioner for Human Rights and played a role in bringing about the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, which marked a milestone in combating violence against women and domestic violence.
In July, Polish justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro introduced a petition calling for Poland to withdraw from the convention, earning the scorn of human rights activists and high-ranking politicians in Europe.
Speaking in the European Parliament on Wednesday, the Polish MEP said she had accepted a nomination by the Greens as vice-president of the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.
“We must finally guarantee women in every European country, regardless of whether the conservatives rule there or not, no matter how politicians and politicians talk about counteracting violence against women, sometimes calling them gender ideology,” she added.
The Greens welcomed Spurek with open arms, saying they are looking forward to working with “a lawyer, a feminist and a human rights defender”.
Speaking on behalf of the group, MEP Terry Reintke stressed that “Poland as a country in the heart of Europe, with brave people that have fought for democracy in the past decades, is obviously something that we as Greens are very close to”.
“Now we will have someone from Poland who can represent Polish citizens in the Green group,” Reintke said during the joint press conference in Brussels.