Prof. Piotr Witakowski
CRIME AGAINST THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND
On November 22, 2023, a vote was held in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on a draft resolution entitled “European Parliament proposals to amend the Treaties.”  The resolution calls for the introduction of 267 amendments to the Lisbon Treaty, radically changing the powers of the member states, including those of the Republic of Poland.
It postulates a significant restriction of the independence of the Republic of Poland by giving up the right to decide in many aspects of social, economic and political life to unelected bodies of the European Union. The provisions of this resolution thus constitute an interference with the constitutional rights of the Polish parliamentary authorities and the Government of the Republic of Poland.
Nine MEPs elected in Poland voted in favor of such truncation of the sovereignty and independence of the Republic. They were: Marek Belka, Robert Biedroń, Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Łukasz Kohut, Bogusław Liberadzki, Leszek Miller, Róża Thun und Hohenstein and Sylwia Spurek. The resolution was adopted by a majority of 17 votes (294 in favor, 271 against and 44 abstentions). Thus, it would have been rejected if these 9 Polish parliamentarians had voted against it.
The events in Parliament are an analogy to the Partition Sejm of 1773. At the beginning of August 1792, Russian, Prussian and Austrian troops simultaneously entered Polish territory and began the occupation of territories agreed between them. However, the occupiers were not content with territorial gains alone, but wanted the actual partition of the Republic, which had already taken place, to be accepted and approved by the Sejm of the Commonwealth Republic. By bribing some of the deputies and terrorizing the others, the occupiers obtained their desired goal at the Partition Sejm in 1773. According to the occupiers’ narrative, Poland was to benefit in many ways. External security was to be provided by the occupying powers. They also guaranteed “cardinal rights,” and order was restored in the country and “anarchy was abolished.” This is now called “restoration of the rule of law.” The Republic was not completely abolished. Two more partitions were needed for that, but it lost an essential attribute of independence – it agreed to have its fate decided not in Warsaw, but in St. Petersburg, Vienna and Berlin. Now the “benefit of the Republic” is to have its fate decided in Brussels and Berlin. The guarantor of the rule of law after the First Partition was to be Tsarina Catherine; the guarantor of the rule of law after the adoption of the European Parliament’s resolution is to be the European Commission.
The moral assessment of Polish representatives voting to limit Poland’s independence is clear, and it is usual to label such people as renegades or traitors. However, the legal qualification of their act is important. In order to make it, one must refer to the Criminal Code in force in Poland.
In Chapter XVII, entitled “Crimes against the Republic of Poland”, the first three articles read as follows:
Article 127. Coup d’etat
- 1. Anyone who, acting to deprive the Republic of Poland of its independence, to detach a portion of its territory, to use force to overthrow its constitutional system, or undertakes, in agreement with others, activities aiming at achieving this purpose, is liable to imprisonment for a minimum term of 10 years, imprisonment for 25 years or imprisonment for life.
- 2. Anyone who makes preparations to commit the offence specified under § 1, is liable to imprisonment for a minimum term of three years to 20 years.
- 3. Anyone who, by means of violence or unlawful threats, exerts influence on the official actions of a constitutional organ of the Republic of Poland, shall be subject to the penalty of deprivation of liberty for a term of one to ten years.
Art. 128. Additional information.
- 1. Anyone who, acting with the intention of using force to remove the constitutional authority of the Republic of Poland, undertakes activity aimed at achieving that purpose, is liable to imprisonment for a minimum term of three years.
- 2. Anyone who makes preparations to commit the offence specified under § 1, is liable to imprisonment for between three months and five years.
Art. 129. Whoever, being authorised to act on behalf of the Republic of Poland in relations with a foreign government or a foreign organisation, acts to the detriment of the Republic of Poland, shall be subject to the penalty of deprivation of liberty for a term of between one and ten years.
The act committed by the above nine MEPs fulfills the prerequisites listed in Article 127 § 1, as well as in Article 129. It should be emphasized that the act was committed under conditions of recidivism. All of these MEPs have voted against Poland countless times. Despite this, they continue to represent Poland in the European Parliament and enjoy full civil rights. The Criminal Code provides for the possibility of curbing such harmful activity, as stated in Article 40 of Poland’s Criminal Code.
Article 40. § 1. Deprivation of public rights includes the loss of active and passive electoral rights to a public authority, a body of professional or economic self-government, the loss of the right to participate in the administration of justice and to perform functions in state and local or professional bodies and institutions, as well as the loss of military rank held and return to the rank of private; deprivation of public rights also includes the loss of orders, decorations and honorary titles and the loss of the ability to obtain them during the period of deprivation.
- 2. The court may order deprivation of public rights in the event of conviction:
1) to imprisonment for not less than 3 years for a crime committed as a result of motivation deserving special condemnation;
I think there is no doubt that activities aimed at diminishing the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Poland deserve special condemnation. It is therefore astonishing why such harmful anti-Polish activity has so far not met with a response from any state body charged with protecting the state and the existing legal order. Since the institutions are silent, perhaps it is time for the citizens of the Republic to speak out on this issue.
Warsaw, November 30, 2023
 The results of roll-call votes can be found at: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/PV-9-2023-11-22-RCV_PL.html
 ACT of 6 June 1997 Criminal Code as amended. https://isap.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU19970880553/U/D19970553Lj.pdf