Poland included on international freedom watchlist
PR dla Zagranicy
Washington-based watchdog Freedom House has included Poland as the only EU country in a list of “Countries to Watch in 2016”, together with states such as Kuwait and Iran.
Photo: Flickr.com/Giuseppe Milo
“The initial actions of the Law and Justice government in 2015, including attempts to stack key institutions with partisan loyalists, raise serious concerns about Poland’s trajectory,” said Freedom House, an independent watchdog which was cofounded in 1941 by Eleanor Roosevelt, among others.
Poland was the only European Union country to be included in the list, although the NGO said that the “migration crisis put unprecedented pressure on the EU’s fundamental principles of liberty, solidarity, and respect for human rights. Rising populism across the region cast doubt on the bloc’s ability to maintain high democratic standards among both current and aspiring member states”.
Since winning the 25 October general elections, the Law and Justice (PiS) government in Poland has introduced a number of laws, including a controversial media bill, as well as sweeping changes to the civil service and judiciary.
In a European Parliament debate on 19 January, Prime Minister Beata Szydło fended off concerns that her new government has eroded democracy in Poland.
Poland became a member of the EU in 2004. (rg/pk)