Magazine article European Social Policy

Charter of Fundamental Rights : Poland to Stick to Its Opt-Out

Magazine article European Social Policy

Charter of Fundamental Rights : Poland to Stick to Its Opt-Out

Article excerpt

Although the new Polish government does not object to the full incorporation of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights into the draft Lisbon Treaty, it would most probably seek to maintain a protocol, which limits the scope of the charter. The terms of this were negotiated by the previous Justice and Law Party-led government of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the Speaker of the Polish Parliament, Bronislaw Komorowski, told a press conference on 22 November in Warsaw. He pledged, however, that the government would use the nearest opportunity to adhere to the Charter of Fundamental Rights

Speaking on behalf of the Civic Platform (PO) party, which alongside the Peasant Party (PSL) formed a new Polish government last week, Komorowski said that his party's choice is motivated by practical considerations rather than its opposition to the charter itself. "My political circles have never seen any reason why the charter shouldn't be ratified by Poland. But the president [Lech Kaczynski] has recently said that he would not sign the [Lisbon] Treaty unless the request for an opt-out from the EU' Charter of Fundamental Rights is respected," said Komorowski. "For the ratification of the treaty we need the signature of the president," he added.

Kaczynski's government joined the UK in insisting on a protocol which stresses that the charter does not provide any new legally enforceable rights in national law. It also had a clause included, stating that the charter would not affect family law, including regulations on homosexual marriages, euthanasia and abortion. …

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