The European Commission (EC) has taken a decisive step by launching infringement procedures against Poland concerning a recently enacted law that establishes a commission tasked with investigating alleged Russian influence on Poland’s internal security from 2007 to 2022. According to the AFP agency, this move has triggered significant attention and discussions both within Poland and abroad.
Polish President Andrzej Duda signed the bill into law on May 29, allowing for the formation of the investigative body. One of the contentious aspects of the legislation is that it grants the commission the authority to impose a ban on individuals holding public office for a period of up to 10 years. Consequently, this provision has sparked a heated debate within Poland and has also raised concerns internationally, with key allies such as the United States expressing fears that the law could potentially undermine the principles of free and fair elections in Poland.
In an apparent attempt to address some of the criticism surrounding the law, President Duda submitted a draft amendment to the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, on June 2. The proposed amendment outlines that the committee will consist of experts rather than Members of Parliament, and it also seeks to limit the new body’s power to impose bans on individuals from holding public office.
Despite these efforts, the EC Vice President, Valdis Dombrovskis, announced on Wednesday that the commission has agreed to initiate an infringement procedure against Poland. This action is being taken through the sending of a letter of formal notice to Warsaw, indicating the seriousness with which the EC regards the matter.
Responding to the EC’s decision, Pawel Szrot, head of the President’s Office, expressed his opinion that this issue is solely within the sovereign jurisdiction of the Republic of Poland. He stated that the matter should not carry any international ramifications, emphasizing Poland’s autonomy in handling this particular concern.