In Poland, the Civil Development Forum (FOR) has launched a new project about the diminishing respect for the rule of law. The goal of the project is to monitor the rule of law in Poland in order to inform and explain Poland’s economic situation to audiences abroad. By collecting news, analysis, and commentary and sharing that information to policymakers, journalists, academics, and the general public, FOR believes that a more accurate understanding of the crisis in Poland will shed light on the need for the rule of law.
“While our views on economic and social policies are diverse, we are united in our belief that the rule of law is essential for the democratic and pluralistic Poland we want to live in,” explains FOR on its website. “We firmly believe that it is necessary to inform and explain the situation in Poland to audiences from abroad.”
FOR’s is optimistic that the new website will provide Poles and an international audience with a viable alternative to mainstream Polish political ideology. Since 2015, Poland’s justice system has experienced several illiberal changes that have threatened the norm of the rule of law. The launch of the website hopes to curb this alarming trend by serving as a watchdog for the principle of the rule of law.
“The government of Poland has been using taxpayers’ money and resources from state-owned companies to justify their attacks on the independence of the justice system,” commented FOR's Vice President Marek Tatala. “The government officials were also active on various international forums in Europe and the US, presenting manipulated or untrue information. Our English-language website will provide readers an alternative source of information about the rule of law in Poland.”
2019 is undoubtedly a consequential year for Polish politics, and FOR sees the upcoming elections as a legitimate chance to have a lasting impact on Polish society.
“In the year of elections to the European and Polish parliaments, we want to make sure that the ruling party’s illiberal attacks on the rule of law are not forgotten and remain important topics of public debate in Poland and Europe” Tatala concluded. “We also hope that our website will make it more difficult for the ruling politicians to further increase their control over the justice system in Poland. Regardless of who wins the upcoming elections, we want to make sure that in the future, illiberal policies are reversed and the foundations of the law are restored.”