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Israeli diplomat summoned to MFA over dispute about restitution

Deputy Minister Paweł Jabłoński announced that he had handed over to Tal Ben-Ari Yaalon, the chargé d’affaires of the Israeli embassy the content of the Code of Administrative Procedure reform with justification and the judgment of the Constitutional Court translated a key passage into English, so that “the matter would be better understood.”

Polish Ambassador to Israel summoned by Israeli MFA over restitution overhaul

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The Israeli diplomat arrived on Monday morning after she was summoned by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The meeting was related to an amendment to the Code of Administrative Procedure passed by the Sejm, influencing, inter alia, the issue of property restitution.

The deputy minister pointed out that when criticising the act, Israeli politicians refer to the issue of the Holocaust, which the act does not mention. “It proves ignorance of the facts, therefore we will talk about these facts,” said the deputy minister.

Mr Jabłoński added that he told the chargé d’affaires of the Israeli Embassy that all victims of WWII should be remembered, not only Jews, but also Poles and other nations of Eastern Europe, the Baltic nations. “It is impossible to organise a contest of which victim suffered the most,” he stressed.

Pursuant to the act passed on Thursday in the Sejm, it will be impossible to challenge the decision after 30 years from the issuance of the administrative decision. This applies, for example, to cases of property confiscated years ago.

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In a statement on Friday, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasised that the new regulations did not limit the possibility of submitting civil actions in order to obtain compensation, regardless of the citizenship or origin of the claimant. The Ministry of Diplomacy argued that the possibility of challenging the decisions of public authorities cannot be unlimited in time.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ”the introduction of time limits (…) will also lead to the elimination of abuses and irregularities that to a large extent took place in the re-privatisation processes.” The ministry also assessed that the Israeli side “did not know the facts or Polish law.”

In a statement, the MFA recalled that “Poland bears no responsibility for the Holocaust, which was a crime committed by the German occupiers, among others against Polish citizens of Jewish nationality. The victims of German crimes were millions of citizens of the Second Polish Republic.”

The Polish authorities also emphasised that the amendment to the Code of Administrative Procedure fulfills the 2015 ruling of the Constitutional Court. At that time, the Court questioned the lack of time limits for the annulment of an administrative decision issued without any legal basis or with a flagrant breach of law.

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