12 December 2018
Warsaw – ESI debating the rule of law and the future of EU asylum and migration policy
"Human rights and rule of law under attack – defending red lines in Europe today". Screenshot: Video-KOD
"Human rights and rule of law under attack – defending red lines in Europe today". Screenshot: Video-KOD

ESI’s Gerald Knaus and Magdalena Milenkovska went on a three-day trip to Warsaw.

On 12 December, at the invitation of the Batory Foundation, ECFR Warsaw and the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna, Gerald spoke at a debate "Human rights and rule of law under attack – defending red lines in Europe today".  The basis for the discussion was written by ESI and Piotr Buras report “Where the law ends. The collapse of the rule of law in Poland – and what to do". The report and the campaign launched by the authors and the Batory Foundation contributed to the European Commission's decision to take the Polish Law on the Supreme Court to the European Court of Justice. Gerald, together with Piotr Buras and the Polish Ombudsman for human rights, Adam Bodnar, discussed lessons learned from the campaign and concrete proposal for defending the rule of law and human rights in Europe.

Later that day, Gerald spoke on the future of EU asylum and migration policy with human rights activists at the Warsaw Watch Docs film festival. The discussion took place after the screening of “The Deal” - Els van Driel’s documentary on the EU-Turkey deal.

"Watch Docs" debate on migration and asylum. Photo: ESI
"Watch Docs" debate on migration and asylum. Photo: ESI

On the next day, Gerald and Magdalena met with leading Polish lawyers and representatives of civil society at the panel “The Supreme Court and the ECJ case: lessons from the civic campaign and the next steps”.  They discussed a strategy for protecting courts against political interference and gathered material for ESI’s next paper on Poland.

"The Supreme Court and the ECJ". Photo: ESI
"The Supreme Court and the ECJ". Photo: ESI

At the last day of the trip, at the invitation of the Ombudsman, Adam Bodnar, Gerald joined the 2nd Congress on Human Rights in the Jewish history museum Polin. Together with the law professors Maciej Taborowski and Marcin Matczak and the EU Ambassador to Poland, Marek Prawda, they discussed the role of the ECJ for the future of Europe.

Debate at Polin Museum. Photo: ESI
Debate at Polin Museum. Photo: ESI
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