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Heightening EU frictions, Poland queries pact on violence against women

Stephanie Lecocq/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Poland’s highest constitutional court is to scrutinize a European pact on violence against women, the prime minister said on Thursday, after a cabinet member said Warsaw should quit the treaty which the nationalist government considers too liberal.

Controversy over the Istanbul Convention threatens to worsen frictions between the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and European Union (EU) institutions anxious about democratic standards and rights in Poland.

“I’ve decided to ask the Constitutional Tribunal to examine whether the convention is in line with the Polish constitution,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a news conference.

The PiS and its partners align themselves with the Catholic Church and object to the Council of Europe convention as disrespectful of religion and potentially undermining family values with its description of gender as a “social” role.

Morawiecki said Poland had taken big steps to protect women through legislation and other means, and he wanted to acknowledge worries the pact had an “ideological” basis. “These are serious concerns and we can’t overlook them,” he said.

30 July 2020

News Source Reuters

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