Questions on EU membership, support for the traditional family, and Europe’s “more than 1,000-year-old Christian heritage” have been included in referendum plans put forward by Poland’s conservative president.
President Andrzej Duda on Tuesday put forward 15 questions that citizens should be asked in a referendum planned for later this year, which will be the first vote of its kind for Poland since it joined the bloc.
Both domestic and international matters are covered in the issues Duda proposed Poles be consulted on in the wide-ranging referendum, which is set to give people a voice on whether to update the nation’s post-Communism 1997 constitution.
Presented by the president after a meeting with his advisory forum, the National Development Council, one question is on whether the nation’s constitution should be guaranteed primacy over European and international law and if it should anchor Poland’s EU membership.
Citizens would be asked whether they believe that Europe’s “more than 1,000-year-old Christian heritage” should be highlighted in the constitution, “as an important source of our traditions, culture and national identity”.
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Set to be held almost 30 years since Poland was liberated from Communism, it could also ask whether to strengthen the elected president’s authority with regards to foreign policy and the armed forces, along with whether NATO membership should be guaranteed in the constitution.
Other proposed questions include asking whether voters back “strengthening of the position of the family, including the protection of fatherhood rights alongside motherhood rights”; if the constitution should enshrine family aid and the right to “special medical aid” for pregnant women, children, disabled people, and the elderly; and whether it should allow greater use of referendums.
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Emphasising that the list may be subject to change, the president said that there will be a consultation period in which the questions are finalised and then submitted to the Senate in a formal request for a referendum.
Since the patriotic, conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party was elected to power in 2015, the government’s opposition to mass migration directives from the EU has seen relations between Warsaw and Brussels deteriorate.
The proposed constitution comes amid rising Church attendance in the central European country, which in recent years saw the nation’s parliament voting to phase out Sunday shopping to give families more time together, and the government declaring Jesus Christ the King of Poland.
Polling data reported by Breitbart London last month found PiS enjoying a huge lead, while support for the Europhile Civic Platform (PO) party — which was booted from power after agreeing to allow the EU to distribute third world migrants in Poland — had collapsed to just 14 per cent.