These measures are unfounded and unlawful, said Poland’s Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro referring to the EU Equality Commissioner’s decision on rejecting the applications of six Polish cities for twinning programme due to them adopting the LGBT-free zones resolutions.
On Tuesday, the EU Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli tweeted that six town twinning applications involving Polish authorities that allegedly adopted “LGBTI free zones” or “family rights” resolutions, were rejected.
As a result, these towns will not receive funding from the EU’s town twinning programme that could be effectively used for the mobilisation of citizens at local and Union levels to debate on concrete issues from the European political agenda and promote civic participation in the Union policy-making process.
Zbigniew Ziobro pointed out the EU Treaty clearly states that the European Commission is obliged to respect the national identity of individual states.
“The EC must respect the principle of equality of local governments and citizens, whose right is to freely shape their own opinions and views, which cannot be censored in any way and cannot be pressured by the ideology or views of European officials”, he stated.
According to the leader of Solidary Poland, the party co-creating the ruling coalition, what Commissioner Dalli does, is what the European Commission "would like to do" if the principle of linking the rule of law with EU funds was forced through.
“Fortunately, the Prime Minister assured us that he had negotiated legal tools to ensure that such a situation would not occur,” said Mr Ziobro, pointing to the unanimity rule.
“This will always be the last resort of any such pressure. This is a foretaste of what would have happened to us if the Prime Minister had not negotiated this mechanism, said the minister.
The Justice Minister stressed that there was no consent for Polish local governments being subjected to unlawful pressure and actions from the European Commission.