Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) states that: “The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.”
The provision articulates the axiological foundations upon which the European Union (EU) is based and the policies it pursues. Propagated and implemented by the EU, the values enshrined in this article provide the foundations upon which the EU rests and determine the appeal it holds both for its existing members and for consecutive candidate countries. In this report, we should like to stress very strongly that the EU is above all a community of values, because values provide a basis upon which all other forms of integration and common action are built, especially on economic, social, political, and cultural issues.
This report has been written in response to increasing violations of these values in Poland, which involve undermining the foundations for the functioning of the EU, which we joined in 2004. By striking at these foundations, we are both weakening the whole of the EU and moving farther away from its core. We are moving towards the fringes of this common house of European values of our own volition, simultaneously becoming a troublesome member. This runs counter to Poland’s interests and the will of most members of the Polish public, who declare themselves to be supporters of the EU.