Polish MEP Sylwia Spurek jumps ship from Socialists to Greens group

Spurek said the Greens/EFA Group shares her values on human rights, the climate and animal rights. The Greens, for their part, welcomed Spurek with open arms.
Sylwia Spurek

By Lorna Hutchinson

Lorna Hutchinson is Deputy Editor of The Parliament Magazine

30 Sep 2020

Sylwia Spurek has announced that she is joining the Greens/EFA Group, a day after she declared on Twitter that she had resigned from the S&D Group.

Explaining her decision, Spurek said, “I am joining the Greens/EFA because there are many people with whom I share the values ​​that I have been fighting for since the beginning of my term in terms of human rights, climate and animal rights.”

She added, “The last year of the European Commission has been a wasted year for both human rights, the rule of law and the climate. I am joining Greens/EFA because it's time for a total green opposition!”

On her election to the European Parliament in late May 2019, Sylwia Spurek left behind a 20-year career in human rights, including working as Poland’s Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights and attorney-at-law.

In a recent cover interview with The Parliament Magazine, Spurek said that what distinguishes her from many of her peers in the European Parliament is that her career to date has not been connected with party politics, but rather with the human rights struggle.

The Greens/EFA Group announced its new member by saying, “Welcome! Witaj! We are pleased to announce that MEP Sylwia Spurek is joining our group. A lawyer, a feminist and a human rights defender - we are looking forward to working with you.”

“I am joining the Greens/EFA because there are many people with whom I share the values ​​that I have been fighting for since the beginning of my term in terms of human rights, climate and animal rights” Sylwia Spurek MEP

Group members were quick to express their delight and welcomed their new member warmly on Tuesday.

Green/EFA Vice-Chair Terry Reintke said, “This morning, I had the pleasure to welcome our first Polish MEP in the Greens/EFA Group. Sylwia Spurek is a brave Feminist and human rights defender. What an honour to fight side by side with you for rule of law and fundamental rights.”

A dedicated vegan and vocal proponent of animal rights, Spurek was welcomed into the fold by fellow animal rights defenders, Portuguese deputy Francisco Guerreiro and Luxembourg MEP Tilly Metz.

Guerreiro said, “Welcome Sylwia Spurek to the Greens/EFA family. Let’s move forward our progressive, feminist, vegan and ecological agenda,” and Metz said she was “so pleased” to welcome Spurek to the group, adding, “looking forward to our cooperation in the next months!”

Danish member Kira Peter-Hansen also paid tribute to Spurek’s activism in the field of women’s rights, saying, “It is an honour to fight alongside you on women’s rights, animal welfare and the green transition.”

Finnish MEP Ville Niinistö said, “Great news! Polish MEP, lawyer and activist, former Deputy Ombudsman Sylwia Spurek joins the Group of the Greens/EFA. Spurek is an advocate of animal rights and equality.”

“Welcome! Witaj! We are pleased to announce that MEP Sylwia Spurek is joining our group. A lawyer, a feminist and a human rights defender - we are looking forward to working with you” Greens/EFA group statement

German colleague Rasmus Andresen said he was “happy to fight together with you for human rights and a sustainable future.”

In a statement, Spurek said, “I want to emphasise clearly that my political goals and obligations towards my voters and female voters from Wielkopolska have not changed.”

“I will continue to consistently strive for the ratification by the European Union of the Istanbul Convention and for the introduction of EU legal mechanisms to protect women against domestic violence.”

She added, “I will continue to work for the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, which must become a sustainable policy - safe for human health and life, as well as ethical - sanctioning animal rights.”

Read the most recent articles written by Lorna Hutchinson - MEPs express outrage over Poland’s near-total ban on abortion

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