EP appeals to Poland not to set up Russian influence commission
The European Parliament (EP) has adopted a resolution criticising a Polish law that establishes a commission to investigate alleged Russian influence on Poland's internal security in 2007-2022 and an amendment to the election law.
The EP called on the Polish authorities to revoke the law establishing the commission as, in the opinion of the resolution's authors, it is directed against the opposition and its leader, Donald Tusk.
Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, signed into law the bill allowing for the establishment of the investigative body on May 29.
The law, which gives the commission the power to ban people from public office for up to ten years, has generated a storm of controversy both inside Poland and abroad, with even key allies such as the United States expressing fears it could be used by the government to undermine free and fair elections in Poland.
The EP said in its resolution that, if the law was still in force, the European Commission should accelerate its proceedings and ask the EU Court of Justice to apply temporary measures.
On June 2, President Duda submitted his draft amendment to the law to the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, which envisages that experts, not MPs will sit on the commission and that the new body will not have the power to ban anyone from holding public office.
On June 7, the European Commission launched infringement procedures against Poland over the Russian influence law.
The EP's resolution also criticised the amendment to the Polish electoral code of March 2023, as, according to some MEPs, the change might discriminate people who vote outside of Poland.
The EP called on the Polish authorities to carry out elections in accordance with the OSCE and democratic standards and the country's international obligations.