Ex-diplomats urge Trump to pressure Poland on rule of law

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Everything you need to know about the rule of law in Poland

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In Poland, the process of flouting and bending our Constitution has been on the rise for several years. The division of powers is being dismantled and the independent judiciary is being destroyed. Human rights are curtailed - former ambassadors write to POTUS



An Open Letter to The Honorable Donald J. Trump, President of the United States

 

Dear Mr. President,

 

The visit of the President of the United States is always a great event for us Poles. We will welcome you with due respect.

 

The sources of our affection for the American nation and its leaders have a long and beautiful history. Hundreds of thousands of settlers from Poland, escaping poverty, political persecution and intolerance, found prosperity and security on the other side of the Atlantic. In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson, in the 13thpoint of his Declaration, gave the impulse to resurrect the Republic of Poland. The United States supported the struggles of the Polish “Solidarity” movement, provided financial assistance during difficult times of economic and social transformation, and engaged in the building of our security system. The increasing presence of American soldiers on Polish soil is noteworthy. We remember all these facts. Sovereign Poland, in turn, did not hesitate to support America’s militarily led operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting terrorism and supporting democracy. Together with soldiers from other countries, we create the foundations of NATO’s defense against threats to the security of both Europe and America. All these events, and we have mentioned but a few, constitute our shared heritage, and are a testimony to the friendship, understanding and partnership between our nations.

 

While recalling these illustrious events in our history, we wish to draw your attention to two important issues, namely current threats to both the security community and to the community of values.

 

Your visit to Warsaw coincides with the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland. September 1,1939 is a tragic date in our history, the beginning of wartime ordeal, of terror, mass extermination, as well as of economic ruin, displacement of persons and fratricidal battles. This day also reminds us of the dramatic consequences of Poland’s isolation, abandoned by its closest allies, who had concluded that a country on the Vistula did not belong to the West. At the end of the war, the great powers confirmed this belief, thus putting Poland under the total control of the USSR. Today, our Republic is a member of a large, democratic family founded on two pillars: the European Union and NATO. Poland remains a steadfast and proven ally of the USA. These communities of values ​​and interests are not at odds with each other. Our raison d’état is to maintain a close relationship with all community members, regardless of their geographical size or the size of their population. The USA, Lithuania, Germany, France or Canada, like all other NATO members, are equal partners in an alliance whose strength should be measured primarily by its potential for joint and effective action. An isolated Poland, surrounded by enemies, conflicted with its neighbors and, as was the case before World War II, reliant solely on geographically distant alliances, is on course to another catastrophe. In this context, the role of a “Trojan horse’, of a country drifting to the fringes of the community of freedom and democracy, a course on which the current government in steering Poland, is destructive both to us and our allies, including the United States. We want to be a serious and reliable partner in our Euro-Atlantic relationship. A partner also ready to make sacrifices, not solely a client or an executor of tasks which do not serve NATO’s cohesion well.

 

Mr. President, we Europeans, like the people of America, are proud of our shared heritage. The ideals of the European Enlightenment and of the Founding Fathers of the first modern state, namely the United States of America, are democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights, equality of citizens and safeguarding of their freedoms. We do not know of a nation where the Constitution is esteemed and respected as it is in the United States. Meanwhile, in Poland, the process of flouting and bending our Constitution has been on the rise for several years. The division of powers is being dismantled and the independent judiciary is being destroyed. Human rights are curtailed, and the growing repression of political opponents and various minorities, be they ethnic, religious or sexual, is not only tolerated by the government, but even inspired by it.

 

Mr. President, you are coming to a country where the rule of law is no longer respected. Your powerful voice calling for tolerance and mutual respect, as well as compliance with the provisions of the Constitution and other laws, may have historical significance. Only free, democratically governed states can create a lasting and effective community capable of defending itself against a flood of aggression, authoritarianism and falsehoods. Poles, hungry for freedom, will listen to you. They will take your words to heart. We await your arrival with hope.

 

Most respectfully,

 

Signatures:

Jan Barcz Maciej Klimczak Jerzy Maria Nowak
Iwo Byczewski Tomasz Knothe Piotr Nowina-Konopka
Maria Krzysztof Byrski Maciej Kozłowski Agnieszka Magdziak-Miszewska
Mieczysław Cieniuch Maciej Koźmiński Piotr Ogrodziński
Tadeusz Diem Andrzej Krawczyk Ryszard Schnepf
Grzegorz Dziemidowicz Andrzej Krzeczunowicz Grażyna Sikorska
Urszula Gacek Henryk Lipszyc Wojciech Tomaszewski
Adam W. Jelonek Piotr Łukasiewicz

 

August 26, 2019

 

Source: Konferencja Ambasadorów RP



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Everything you need to know about the rule of law in Poland


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Published

August 27, 2019