Conservative MEPs have come under fire for trying to block a European Parliament debate next week on the political situation in Poland. It is feared controversial reforms being introduced by Poland's newly elected right-wing government are threatening the independence of the country's top court and public broadcasters.
Conservative MEP Syed Kamall, whose party is allied in Europe to Poland's governing Law and Justice Party, opposed having the debate and resolution at a meeting of political group leaders. The move comes as the European Commission launched a formal process today looking into whether the proposed constitutional changes in Poland are compatible with EU values on the rule of law.
Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder commented:
"The latest moves by the Polish government to restrict media freedom and independence of the judiciary are deeply worrying.
"There should be a full and frank debate about how the rest of Europe responds to this steady erosion of the rule of law.
"The Conservatives must stand up to their Polish allies instead of trying to brush this issue under the carpet.
"Liberal voices in Poland who are worried about their country's slide towards autocracy need our support."