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   July 22, 2017
 
  •  THE UNITED STATES CARES DEEPLY ABOUT POLAND
As a fellow democracy and close ally, the United States cares deeply about Poland. That is why we are concerned by the Polish government's continued pursuit of legislation that appears to limit the independence of the judiciary and potentially weaken the rule of law in Poland. A strong and healthy democracy in Poland is a vital component of U.S.-Polish relations. We continue to stress the importance of the rule of law in Poland and we continue to watch the situation there closely.

We urge all sides to focus efforts toward ensuring any judicial reform is in line with Poland's constitution and the highest standards of international law while respecting the principles of judicial independence and separation of powers. We remain confident about the strength of Poland's democracy and the ability of Poles to address these issues through dialogue and compromise.
President Trump highlighted the importance of rule of law in his speech in Warsaw July 6th. Did President Trump's visit to Poland, and apparent failure to raise these concerns, give the government an open door to make these moves? No, the United States has repeatedly conveyed how important rule of law and strong democratic institutions are to our relationship.
The United States bases its policy on well-established norms and standards upon which the NATO alliance was established, the obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as on the commitments regarding democratic government and rule of law articulated in the agreements among the countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The European Commission's rule of law framework and the Council of Europe Venice Commission's opinions are part of an ongoing dialogue with the Polish government.
We continue to encourage Poland to seek a timely resolution in line with the Venice Commission's opinions and the European Commission's recommendations of July 27 and December 21. We urge all sides to focus efforts toward achieving a resolution that ensures Poland's democratic institutions and system of checks and balances are fully functioning and respected.

Photo: Krzysztof Heller
The United States Department of State



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