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EC concerned about Poland’s Russian influence commission

Poland’s law on the commission to investigate Russia’s influence on Poland’s security still raises very serious concerns in the European Commission (EC), the EC spokeswoman has said.

Anitta Hipper said at Thursday’s press conference in Brussels that a new amended act creating a special body to investigate alleged Russian influences on Polish governments, signed into law on Wednesday by the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, still raises the EC’s concerns.

Hipper also said that the concerns were related to its compliance with EU law when the commission becomes operational.

The new law which established the state commission for the examination of Russian interference in the internal security of Poland from 2007 to 2022 entered into force on May 31, but soon after signing it, the Polish president decided to suggest an amendment to it.

The commission, which under the original law was to be empowered to bar politicians from public service if found to have been operating under Russian influence, was heftily criticised by the US, the EU and the opposition in Poland, who saw it as a tool to prevent opposition leader Donald Tusk from running in the autumn parliamentary elections.

Soon after signing the bill into law, the Polish president filed his own amendment to the legislation, which removes the most drastic measures included in the original law and allows the commission only to state that a person has acted under Russian influence and thus does not guarantee the proper performance of public duties.

The Polish Sejm, lower house, approved the presidential bill in a 235-214 vote, with four abstentions on July 28 overriding opposition from the Senate. 

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