The response of the management board of the Małopolskie Voivodeship to the letter of the European Commission of 14 July is the appointment of a plenipotentiary and council for equal treatment and family rights, informed the Marshal of Małopolska, Witold Kozłowski. EU officials warned against the possibility of withholding funds if the anti-LGBT resolution was in force.
Until Tuesday, September 14, the authorities of Małopolska had time to respond to the European Commission’s warning letter against the possible loss of EU funds if the 2019 resolution “on opposition to the introduction of LGBT ideology to local government communities” continues. The European Commission found that the declaration violated the rights of sexual minorities.
Marshal of Małopolska for a reply to the letter of the European Commission
According to Marshal Kozłowski, the response to the letters of the European Commission, including the first of July 14, is the appointment of a plenipotentiary and a council for equal treatment and family rights. On September 13, the voivodship board sent a letter on this matter to the government plenipotentiary for equal treatment. – We do not answer directly to the European Commission, it is done by the government plenipotentiary for equal treatment – said the Marshal.
– Today is closing a certain period, so we would like to inform you what our reference to the topic is at this stage – Kozłowski said at a press briefing on Tuesday.
The letter that the voivodship board passed on to the government plenipotentiary for equal treatment on September 13 is the only one for the e-mails sent to date by European Commission officials. During these two months – as the marshal pointed out – the voivodeship authorities repeatedly consulted the representative of the European Commission, Maria Galewska (the guardian of Małopolska on behalf of the European Commission), the representative of the government plenipotentiary for equal treatment, but also the marshals of other voivodeships and many organizations that deal with the subject equal treatment. The marshal received many letters from Catholic organizations, and also met – as he said – hate.
– We take this very seriously. Nobody can feel discriminated against in any way by anyone – said Kozłowski.
Who will sit on the council for equal treatment
The composition of the plenipotentiary and council for equal treatment and family rights will be determined – as the marshal pointed out – “as soon as possible”. In connection with the appointment of a representative and council, the Department of Family, Health and Social Affairs will change its name to the Department of Health, Family, Equal Treatment and Social Policy. It is the director of this department who is to act as the plenipotentiary for equal treatment.
The council will be composed of: a spokesman for European funds, a coordinator of a team of legal advisers, three representatives of all clubs in the regional council and two representatives of the social side – organizations dealing with the issue of equal treatment and the family. This week, registered organizations are to receive letters asking them to appoint a representative to the council.
One of the council’s first tasks is to issue an opinion on the 2019 LGBT declaration. The council is to perform a consultative function for the local government. – The aim of the council is to actively support the activities of the self-government of the Małopolskie Voivodeship in the field of the principle of equal treatment and protection of family rights, in particular in counteracting discrimination based on sex, race, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, denomination, worldview, age, disability and sexual orientation, and also care for the observance of the constitutional rights of families – emphasized the Marshal.
Asked whether the marshals of the other voivodeships which adopted similar resolutions and received warning letters from the European Commission, also appointed such a representative and council, he replied that they were not, but they were looking at the activities of the Małopolska authorities with interest.
Kozłowski emphasized that the European Commission did not set a condition in any letter that if Małopolska did not invalidate the declaration, it would not receive funds.
The voivodship sejmik did not revoke the declaration on LGBT rights
The Seymik of the Małopolskie Voivodeship at the session on August 20 did not revoke the declaration, which was requested by the opposition. 23 councilors voted in favor of sticking to the current document, while 14 were against.
On September 3, the deputy director general of the Department of Regional Policy of the European Commission Normunds Popens informed the authorities of five provinces, incl. Małopolska, on the suspension of work on the REACT-EU program, which assumed support for entrepreneurs and the health care sector in connection with the pandemic.
Proceedings against Poland for violating the rights of LGBTIQ persons
Popens also informed that proceedings have been initiated against Poland for violating the rights of LGBTIQ persons. The letter says that the European Commission has already asked the Polish authorities regarding the rights of LGBTIQ people. The answer, according to Popens, was insufficient. If the next ones are also such, the EC may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Last week – on September 8 – the Mayor of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski, sent a letter to the European Commission, in which he called for an individual assessment of the city’s activities for LGBT people, independent of the decisions made by the authorities of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship.
On April 29, 2019, the assembly of the Lesser Poland voivodeship, in which PiS has a majority, approved the declaration “on opposition to the introduction of LGBT ideology into local government communities” with 22 votes “for”. It says that “the regional council of the Małopolska voivodship expresses a strong opposition to the emerging in the public sphere activities aimed at promoting the ideology of LGBT movements, the goals of which violate the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed in acts of international law, question the values protected in the Polish constitution, and interfere with social order “. The councilors declared in the document “support for the family based on traditional values and defense of the education system against LGBT propaganda that threatens the proper development of the young generation”.
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