News

July 27, 2017

Poland: Brussels fails to respond to Poland’s media freedom violations

Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the EU Commission / AFP

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges Brussels not to allow media freedom to continue declining in Poland after the European Commission refrained from triggering Article 7 and instead just issued another “recommendation” to the Polish government.


The European Commission yesterday gave Poland a month to respond to its latest recommendation on the threats to the rule of law. But all previous attempts by European institutions to pressure Poland have proved ineffective.


After taking control of the state media, Poland’s ultra-conservative PiS government has been trying to intimidate independent journalists who dare to criticize its policies.


It is essential that the European Commission should respond to these threats by taking action to ensure respect for the rule of law and Europe’s fundamental values, including media freedom.


The measures announced by Brussels are not a response to the grave and repeated violations of media freedom in Poland,” RSF Brussels representative Julie Majerczak said.

As the Polish government continues to ignore all recommendations, the European Commission cannot indefinitely postpone recourse to Article 7 of the Treaty. European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans says he is determined to defend the rule of law, but has said nothing about the Polish government’s attacks on independent media and journalists.”


Poland is ranked 54th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index, seven places lower than in the 2016 index, in which it suffered a spectacular 29-place fall.