FYEG

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RES-3 Poland, Hungary, Slovakia: European comeback wanted

Author(s): FYEG EC

Poland, Hungary, Slovakia: European comeback wanted

The European Union project has been recently challenged by international situations for which member states would have to stand all together, politically reflecting the values and ideals the European construction is supposed to be based on, in order to fulfil their role as a global player. Unfortunately, they have not always been able to appear as unite to the international community, as the ongoing refugee crisis tragically shows every day. One reason for this are the discrepancies between European governments’ political stands and the apparently nearly impossibility to find a consensus or an internal arrangement regarding important political topics. Particularly, in the central Europe region, the Polish, Hungarian and Slovakian governments showed in the last months a rather questionable political shift towards right-wing authoritarian populist attitudes and policies.

Governments of the Visegrad group are, as in other countries in Europe, politically and electorally put under pressure by the extreme right. The legislative election in Slovakia on March 5th, 2016 resulted in the populist self-defined social democrat Robert Fico to keep his first place, while two extreme right, respectively nationalist and neo-Nazi, parties entered the Parliament with more than 8% of the votes. The PiS party in Poland, that has been governing the country for one year, was democratically confirmed at the last legislative election in October 2015. In Hungary, the sovereignist
conservative Viktor Orban has been leading the country for 6 years. Populist parties came into power thanks to xenophobic, nationalistic and Eurosceptical discourses around the migration question.

From a strictly electoral perspective, all three governments are democratic. Nevertheless, their anti-liberalism and conservatism allows one to regard them as populist, whether on the questions of public morality, like in Poland where the already barely existing rights to abortion and sexual orientation is being challenged, economy, like in Slovakia where the government shows a really authoritative attitude, or politics, like in Hungary where the xenophobic rhetoric of Orban is backed up by an assumed democratic-authoritarian leading style.

Nevertheless, it is clear that the Rule of Law is being flouted. The Polish government put at risk the principles of separation of powers by taking over the media and the constitutional control by passing a law that makes it impossible for the constitutional Court to work. The European Council reacted by opening a procedure to check and secure the Rule of Law in Poland. While having shown a sincere will to move towards EU requirements in the past, the political shifts happening for a few years in the central European region are now threatening the political union between EU member states, while the concerned countries considerably benefit from European investments into their public sector.

The clear mutual advantages of a political and economic Union – while still waiting for a social one – will finally be put under high pressure by these populist, nationalist and conservative governments that ultimately encourage the comeback of nationalisms all over Europe and the weakening of the project for a common future. FYEG calls for the creation of a real European political space including

  • the Europeanisation of political debate at the European level, not allowing national governments to set the agenda

  • the creation and support to diffusion of European media and watchdogs

  • the federalisation of political parties

The state of play in the European Union requires an urgent reaction from EU authorities and member states, reminding partners of the principles the European construction was built on and committing to come back at the table to find common solutions to common challenges without stepping back to old national reflexes. The absence of such reactions would only lead to further legitimation of selfish attitudes from national governments, ultimately unravelling the political Union that we have been trying to develop in the last decades.

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Amendments

Line Author(s) Text Explanation Procedure
7 GRUENE JUGEND
replace ”refugee crisis” with  ”situation of refugees”
Wording - refugees are not a crisis. "Refugee crisis" sounds somewhat dehumanizing. Withdrawn

Withdrawn in favour of compromise

7(1) GRUENE JUGEND et al.

replace ”refugee crisis” with ”inability to cooperate for the sake of refugees’ rights”

compromise Modified adoption

Adopted after compromise

19-21 Ostra Zielen

”The PiS party in Poland, that has been governing the country for one year, was democratically confirmed at the last legislative election in October 2015\”. -> replace with \”In Poland conservative and nationalistic party PiS has been democratically elected in October 2015 and now rules Poland with absolute majority\”.

clarification Adoption

Adopted by the EC

26-27 DWARS et al.

Replace ”Nevertheless, their anti-liberalism and conservatism allows one to regard them as populist”

With: Nevertheless, their anti-liberal, conservative and authoritarian attitudes raises severe doubts about their commitment to and respect of the democratic system.

The definition of 'populist' is though to pin down. You cannot so easily narrow it down to being 'anti-liberal and conservative'. Therefore, we believe 'anti-democratic' to be a more correct label here and thus believe the new sentence to better cover the subject. Adoption

Adopted by the EC

28 Ostra Zielen

28 ”and sexual orientation” – replace with ”and minority rights” + are

better wording Withdrawn

Withdrawn in favour of compromised text

28(1) Ostra Zielen and EC compromise

Replace: ”… like in Poland where the already barely existing rights to abortion and sexual orientation is being challenged…”
with: ”like in Poland where the already barely existing women and LGBTIQ rights are being challenged…”

Compromised text Modified adoption

Adopted after compromise

35 Ostra Zielen

constitutional Court -> ”Constitutional Court”

grammar
36 Ostra Zielen

add ”Despite low terrorist threat in Poland, a new anti-terrorist laws are being passed that allow police and secret services to invigilate and gather information about citizens without the court order”.

more info about local situation Adoption

Adopted by the EC

36-37 Ostra Zielen

”While having shown a sincere will to move towards EU requirements in the past,” – remove

wording Adoption

Adopted by the EC

47 GRUENE JUGEND
add bullet points after l. 47:
– FYEG calls for enforcing EU sanctions against member states that undermine basic democratic principles
–  FYEG calls the EU Court of Justice as the highest level of jurisdiction in the EU to take action against all new laws in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia (or other EU members) that contradict democracy, freedom of the press and civil or human rights
Addition of more concrete demands that would apply directly to the states that this resolution is all about Vote

Adopted by the EC. Vote requested.

49 Mladi Zeleni et al.

ADD: \”We propose a New Convention on the Future of Europe.\”

We need new democratic rules and improvement of the EU institutions. However such a debate and decision should be taken with the involvement of civil society. The Convention is a tool that can bring this debate and civil society participation. Such a Convention was set up when the Constitution for Europe was drafted. In the New Convention we should call for more citizens\' involvement and transparency. Only that way the European project will prospect.
51 Ostra Zielen

 

add ”Supporting political and civic movements opposing authoritarian and anti-democratic changes in the region”

add ”Countering the xenophobic and nationalistic narrative with a story of european solidarity and positive examples of support coming from the EU.”

more solutions are needed to solve this crisis Adoption

Adopted by the EC

56 Mladi Zeleni et al.

ADD: The calling for a Constitutional Process at the European level, or a new European Convention, cannot be avoided anymore if the EU wants to survive as an integration project that overcomes old nation-state dynamics.

Same as the other amendment in line 49.

Create amendment to RES-3

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