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Polish MEPs continue to ignore important votes in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Published: 15.10.2019


The Polish MEPs, members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), continue to regularly miss important votes concerning fundamental issues. Most of the MEPS from Poland were absent during the votes on resolutions on, inter alia, promotion of gender ideology or combating ‘hate speech’ against LGBT ideologists. The latest data collected by the Ordo Iuris Institute indicate that most of the controversial resolutions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe continue to be adopted in the absence of the Polish MEPs. 

The Ordo Iuris Institute informedof the issue already in January, presenting the data for 2017 and 2018. In 2019, the situation did not improve significantly. Last year the Polish Members missed many important votes again. 

In June, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adoptedthe Resolutioncalling for the full implementation of the Istanbul Convention, which requires the authorities to promote in schools, the media and the public institutions the gender ideology that has blurred the natural differences between men and women. Furthermore, the Resolution calls for carrying out the recommendations of the GREVIO Committee, which, as the Institute has already informed, expects the States-Parties to the Convention to introduce the pro-gender indoctrination of children as early as at pre-school age and to counteract 'stereotypes' connected with the respect for the traditional family. The Resolution was voted through almostunanimously. Only two MEPs from Poland participated in the voting, one of which voted in favour (Kukiz’15), and the other abstained from voting (PiS).

In April, the Assembly adopted the Resolution,proposing the introduction of civil, administrative and criminal sanctions for ‘hate speech’ towards supporters of the LGBT ideology. Since the term 'hate speech' is not defined in any instrument of international law, the introduction of such sanctions would seriously endanger the freedom of expression of those who object to the ideological demands of the LGBT movement, such as the granting of the right to adopt children to same-sex cohabiting partners. This Resolution was adoptedalmost unanimously, too. Three Polish MEPs took part the vote, two of which voted 'for' (PO and Kukiz'15) and one abstained from voting (PiS). 

In January, the Assembly adopted the Resolution on workplace discrimination, in which it urged to ‘combat prejudices and stereotypes prevailing in society’ and to introduce a legal obligation for public sector employers to promote ‘diversity’. The Resolution does not specify the stereotypes to be combated or what is meant by diversity, but in the context of the already established language of the European institutions, it can be assumed that the aim is to grant additional labour market privileges to people who identify themselves as LGBT and to challenge the beliefs of people who advocate a natural family model. The Resolution was adoptedpractically unanimously, in the presence of one Member of Parliament of Poland (PO), who voted in favour. 

 “The Resolutions of the Parliamentary Assembly are not binding, but play an important role in the interpretation of international law, which Poland is obliged to observe. As a result, a resolution promoting gender ideology or the postulates of the LGBT lobby can be used by international institutions to exert pressure on the Polish authorities to adjust the national legal system to the demands of the left-wing movements”, says Magdalena Olek, Acting Director of the Ordo Iuris International Law Centre. 

The Parliamentary Assembly is an advisory body to the Committee of Ministers and the only pan-European representation of the national parliaments of the Member States of the Council of Europe. It is composed of 648 representatives of the national parliaments and the number of delegates depends on the number of residents of a particular country. As a rule, meetings are attended by several dozen to two hundred people, which means that even a few but well-organised national delegations have the opportunity to push their way through in the case of absence of certain delegates.

The Polish delegation comprises 24 Members of Parliament and Senators, 12 of whom are representatives and the remaining 12 are substitutes and have the right to vote only in the absence of the relevant person. The delegation consists of parliamentarians from almost all political parties present in the Polish Sejm and Senate: Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, Platforma Obywatelska–Koalicja Obywatelska, Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe and Kukiz’15. 

As follows from the data collected by the Ordo Iuris Institute, such low attendance concerns representatives of all political groups. In 2017, 22 members of the delegation were absent during more than half of the votes, and 5 members were never present. In 2018, the turnout deteriorated further, as 23 members of the delegation were not present in over 3/4 of votes, and 7 members did not participate at least in one vote. In 2019, it improved only slightly. 17 members were absent during 3/4 or more votes and 5 never participated in the votes. Only 3 Polish parliamentarians were present at half of the votes at least.

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