After some worrying reports come out from Amnesty International for Poland, I’m still amazed that political brothers, sorry, leaders in this country still have doubts about the death penalty. One of the KaczyÃ±skis has suggested that perhaps Poland could introduce death penalty again. On the top, the country is reported as increasingly homophobic along with anti-abortion sentiments rising. There are also some reports about the degeneration of democracy. And the witch-hunting extended well beyond the case of Geremek, now appears to be targeting politically unpleasant enemies. Charges of corruption and similar. We have seen it before.
But there is a more immediate concern for the EU. First, the abolition of death penalty is a condition to become a member of both the EU and the Council of Europe. Where Poland proudly sits. So, statements like this already deserve a reminder to KaczyÃ±skis that this is not the way to do business so far away from Texas.
Secondly, there is symbolic issue now being dealt with within the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the EU (COREPER) concerning the declarationÂ of a “European day against the Death Penalty”. It’s a join initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union and the currently presiding Portugal would like to push for the 10th October to be proclaimed as such. And for those EU geeks out there: the Presidency put the item on the agenda of the meeting in the part “I”. Which means there is no debate and the COREPER members only agre or express reservations.
It was only at the last moment that Poland (during an Antici meeting, one level before COREPER) raised a substantive objection and moved the item to the part “II”. Which means it goes one level above, to COREPER and it open a debate on the issue. The argumentation was scarry. According to the Polish, the right to life does not exclude death penalty and the issue should be re-debated in Europe. This is why they are in principle against the declaration of a “European day against the Death Penalty”.
Should we worry or wait for the elections?