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Charter of Fundamental Rights: Poland could lift its opt-out

(B2) Contrary to what some media announced, which discovered (lately) that Poland had posed the possibility of a opt-out to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Polish government now seems rather inclined not to act on this provision which allows it, like the British, not to apply (or rather to make) certain provisions of the Charter compulsory, particularly in matters of justice and freedoms and in social matters.

Officially, the government is analyzing the impact of the Charter. But it seems, believes a diplomat, that the Polish government is ultimately leaving this clause unused. This derogatory provision had aroused clear hostility from the unions in Poland, notably Solidarność, although it was considered close to the government. It is indeed difficult to see Poland renouncing the application of human rights. With the clearer position taken by Ireland, deciding not to use this clause, theopt-out to the Charter of Fundamental Rights could therefore remain limited to the United Kingdom. Poland, however, did not immediately announce this decision, which it kept as an instrument of pressure during the final adjustments to the negotiation of the entire treaty.

However, in the country of Chopin and Witold Gombrowicz, there will remain this unilateral declaration (declaration n°51) specifying that “ The Charter does not in any way affect the right of Member States to legislate in the field of public morality, family law and the protection of human dignity and respect for physical and moral human integrity. ».


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).