Poland’s highest court will evaluate the Istanbul Convention, a European treaty aimed at combating violence against women, which the country’s government considers too liberal.
“I’ve decided to ask the Constitutional Tribunal to examine whether the convention is in line with the Polish constitution,” the country’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters on Thursday, according to Reuters.
His remarks come days after his Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro announced Poland would withdraw from the treaty, prompting protests. Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party has taken exception to the Istanbul Convention, claiming it threatens religion and family values with its view on gender, which the treaty describes as “socially constructed.”
Denouncing the pact as “ideological,” the prime minister said he cannot overlook the “serious concerns” he has about the treaty, adding that Poland has already taken other steps to protect women.
The controversy is likely to further strain relations between Warsaw and Brussels, which have soured over differences over the rule of law. The relationship reached a new low on Thursday when the European Commission issued a warning to Poland, saying it would block funds for countries that disregard fundamental rights — such as LGBTQ equality.
On Thursday afternoon, Donald Tusk, the president of the center-right European People’s Party — an outspoken critic of the current PiS government who once served as Poland’s prime minister — appeared to attack Morawiecki’s announcement in a tweet.
“As the head of European Christian Democrats, I would like to remind you that Jesus has always been on the side of the weaker and the harmed, never on the side of the oppressive authority,” he wrote.
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