In a resounding move to safeguard Poland’s lush woodlands, the Polish Sejm adopted a crucial bill on Thursday (Aug 17), underlining the legal defence of the country’s precious forests. This historic decision follows a groundswell of support, with the bill backed by an impressive half a million Polish citizens.
At the heart of this legislative triumph is the social initiative committee known as ‘In Defence of Polish Forests,’ which came into existence just this March. The committee’s formation underscores the gravity of the issue at hand – the European Union’s proposal to centralize control over the forests of its member states, a prospect that has ignited passionate debates across the country. In response, Poland’s political leaders, including those representing the Sovereign Poland movement, have taken swift action to bolster legal safeguards in this critical domain.
Sejm Unites to Protect Polish Forests: Strong Backing from Citizens and Officials
Celebrations echoed through the corridors of power as Michał Gzowski, the State Forests’ Spokesman, exclaimed, “Great news straight from the Sejm! The Sejm today adopted a bill in defence of Polish forests, supported by more than half a million Poles! We will not hand over the management of the State Forests to EU bureaucrats!”
Strengthening Poland’s Voice in EU Decision-Making
Central to the bill is Article 11, a cornerstone of the proposed law on cooperation between the Council of Ministers and the Sejm and Senate concerning Poland’s membership in the European Union. This article outlines a structured approach to adopting EU legislative drafts, requiring the Council of Ministers to share the Republic of Poland’s intended stance with the Sejm. Significantly, the Sejm’s forestry and forest management committee will evaluate this stance, wielding its decision-making power with a majority of two-thirds of votes.
Preserving Poland’s Forests: Navigating Concerns Amidst EU Debates
However, beyond the mechanics of the legislation, lies a passionate concern for the integrity of Poland’s forests. The champions of the ‘In Defence of Polish Forests’ project fervently caution against yielding to perceived EU temptations. Their arguments reflect the fear that Brussels could infringe upon Poland’s sovereign right to manage its own woodlands. Additionally, they raise the alarm against potential EU-imposed bans that could disrupt the thriving Polish timber industry, diminish Poland’s competitive edge in the European market, and drive timber prices upwards. Moreover, there are concerns about aggressive climate policies that may inadvertently impact timber prices and accessibility to the nation’s cherished forests.