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Monday, September 27, 2021

A state of emergency at the Polish border with Belarus. The special services commission visits the western border

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MEPs from the parliamentary special services committee visited the country’s western border to check its security measures, tvn24.pl found out. – This is a circus. The Commission did not meet to discuss the situation on the eastern border, it did not meet to discuss the introduction of the state of emergency, and it found time to go to the western border, comments MP Marek Biernacki, its member.

The trip took place this week. The deputies had a series of meetings with representatives of the services working in the border zone on our western border prepared.

We wanted to ask the chairman of the special committee, PIS Deputy Waldemar Andzel about the sense of this trip. However, he did not answer the phone. He also did not react to the contact request sent via SMS.

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“As it happened”

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We managed to talk to Andzl’s deputy, Jarosław Krajewski, also an MP from Law and Justice.

– It so happened, but it was a trip prepared a long time ago. We will definitely go to the eastern wall as well, said MP Krajewski.

This does not convince MP Marek Biernacki from PSL, who has the longest service in the special commission. – The chairman should react to the changing situation and decide on priorities. It is, after all, a committee for secret services – he assesses.

Maciej Gdula, MP, representing the Left, is less critical of the trip to the western border. – The trip was planned a long time ago, I couldn’t take part in it myself – he says.

MPs Marek Biernacki and Adam Szłapka from the Civic Coalition also point to another aspect. – The Commission is the only forum that can and should hear the full justification for the introduction of a state of emergency in the border area, they agree.

Secrets of services

It is about the problem of access to information from secret services. Under the law, each deputy receives access to such knowledge – but only with the “secret” clause.

In practice, only members of the Sejm’s special committee are subjected to the procedure of “extended scrutiny” by the Internal Security Agency, thanks to which they gain access to “top secret” information, as well as to the secrets of NATO and the European Union.

The Members we spoke to point out that that in the government’s justification for the introduction of a state of emergency in 183 border towns, the term “hybrid war” was found.

The exceptional character and the extraordinary scale of migratory pressure on the Polish-Belarusian border stem from the deliberate and planned activities of the Belarusian services aimed at destabilizing the situation on the border with Poland and other EU Member States, ie Lithuania and Latvia. (…) These actions take the form of a “hybrid war” waged by the Belarusian regime in retaliation for the sanctions imposed by the European Union following the hijacking of a Ryanair plane and the arrest of the Belarusian journalist Raman Pratasiewicz.

Deputy Adam Szłapka informed us that the meeting of the committee on this subject was not planned by chairman Waldemar Andzel until mid-September.

– So after the Sejm will decide on the state of emergency. The sense of our meeting is therefore doubtful. I must say that, together with Marek Biernacki, we tried to organize a meeting on the situation in Afghanistan, the evacuation of our friends and the migratory pressure since July. To no avail – says Szłapka.

Head of the PiS committee

Opposition MPs lost their influence on the work of the “special commission” in the last term of the Sejm. It was then that the ruling majority of PiS broke with many years of practice that the leadership of this special commission is rotating and also includes opposition deputies.

For example, in the term of office from 2011 to 2015, when the majority was composed of MPs from PO-PSL, the heads of the service oversight committee were in turn:

– Stanisław Wziątek, SLD; – Konstanty Miodowicz, PO; – Marek Opioła, PiS; – Elżbieta Radziszewska, PO; – Zbigniew Sosnowski, PSL; – Artur Dębski, unaffiliated; – Marek Biernacki, PO.

In the next term of office, only PiS representatives were the heads of the committees. Currently, even no opposition representative is admitted to the presidium of the committee.

Main photo source: tvn24



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