Od 2017 roku aktywnie działamy na rzecz społeczeństwa obywatelskiego w PolsceWesprzyj nas
1. The intervention of MEPs against a member of EESC raises obvious doubts in light of the role of the Committee, which should represent diverse groups and views, serving the interest of the European Union as a whole. Under article 300 section 4 of the Treaty on the Functioning of European Union „the members of the Economic and Social Committee and of the Committee of the Regions shall not be bound by any mandatory instructions. They shall be completely independent in the performance of their duties, in the Union’s general interest”.
The group that we belong to is called „Diversity Europe” not by accident – it represents NGOs active in various fields, coming from various backgrounds, notably „socio-economic, civic, professional and cultural areas” (article 300 section 2 TFUE). An attempt to exert political pressure towards the Committee leadership questions this basic idea: that members can have different views, which should be subject to substantial discussion. The value that EESC brings to the European Union is that it can produce balanced opinions – but it always takes a genuine debate confronting different reasonable points of view.
Contrary to the claims made by the authors of the letter, the fact that someone does not entirely share their political views is by no definition a „conflict of interest”. Divergence of opinions is the essence of liberal democracy and the starting point to any serious deliberation. Unfortunately, the letter brings back the worst memories of the „illiberal politics” from the past, creating a negative precedent for the future.
2. The letter suggests that an EESC member can be removed from the Diversity Europe group, once being admitted. On the contrary, according to article 30 section 13, „members may, on a voluntary basis, join a group, subject to the initial approval of their eligibility by the members of the group.
There is no possibility of expulsion foreseen, neither in the Rules of Procedure, nor in the newly adopted Code of Conduct. Therefore the group of MEPs proposes an action, which is illegal by its very nature.
3. The letter does not refer to my own actions, neither within the EESC, nor outside of it. The authors try to stigmatize me only indirectly, due to my involvement in the Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture – a human rights think tank listed in the EU transparency register (subject to positive review finished this month). The organization also has the formal ECOSOC consultative status.
The letter includes misinformation regarding the activities of Ordo Iuris. In reality, the think tank stands for the human rights of every single citizen, irrelevant of one’s sexual orientation. Its activities are entirely based on the wording of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Polish Constitution. Ordo Iuris never provided „legal aid” to municipalities declaring „LGBT free-zones”, neither took any actions against equality between men and women. On the contrary, we regularly organize high-level conferences on women’s rights, involving prominent female speakers from all over the world. My EESC alternate, Karolina Pawłowska, is particularly active in this field. The Institute counters domestic violence, providing legal aid to the victims free-of-charge. It has been long involved in the OSCE hate crime reporting system. OI experts have formally presented opinions upon request of i.a. AFCO and LIBE Committees of the European Parliament, the Council of Europe Monitoring Committee, OSCE ODIHR, and the Venice Commission. Contrary to the statements made by the MEPs, Ordo Iuris is not part of any „Agenda Europe think tank”. It never signed the declaration quoted in the MEPs letter.