European Parliament set to remove one of its vice presidents, Ryszard Czarnecki

Written by Martin Banks on 7 February 2018 in News

This comes after he sparked outrage by comparing a fellow Polish MEP to a Nazi collaborator.

Ryszard Czarnecki | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual

The Conference of Presidents, the body comprising the political group leaders of the European Parliament, has already voted to end Czarnecki’s term due to “serious misconduct.”

A Parliament official said the full house is likely to confirm the decision at a plenary vote in Strasbourg later on Wednesday.

However, Czarnezcki, who is a member of the governing PiS party in Poland, will remain an MEP of the Eurosceptic European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).


German Socialist MEP Udo Bullman has criticised the ECR for not taking a tougher stance with Czarnezcki.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday in Strasbourg, Bullman said, “We cannot have people here making Nazi comparisons of other MEPs that are just not justified. To be honest, I would have preferred that he stepped down himself and also that the ECR group would have asked him to do this.”

Last month, Czarnecki compared MEP Róża Thun from Poland’s opposition Civic Platform party to a Szmalcownik —a pejorative Polish term used to describe someone that collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.

The Parliament spokesman said that the Conference of Presidents’ decision was not targeting Poland or the PiS, which is caught up in an ongoing battle with the EU concerning its rule of law and controversial judicial reforms.

If, as expected, the Pole is stripped of his function he would no longer represent the Parliament in his vice president’s role.

Czarnecki has refused to apologise for the remarks and was not available for comment.

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine

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