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Sejm Speaker Hołownia and EC Vice-President Vestager Discuss Digital Market, Youth Protection Online, and Legislative Transparency

POLITICSSejm Speaker Hołownia and EC Vice-President Vestager Discuss Digital Market, Youth Protection Online, and Legislative Transparency

The Digital Single Market, protection of children and youth online, the Sejm’s new open approach to citizens, inclusive democracy, and increasing transparency in the legislative process were some of the topics discussed during Tuesday’s (May 21) meeting between Sejm Speaker Szymon Hołownia and Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Margrethe Vestager. The meeting also addressed the closure of the Article 7 procedure against Poland and emphasized the growing role of Poland in the EU.

“We discussed the common digital market, and what Poland can do to become a rapidly growing player in areas such as data management, the semiconductor market, and cloud technologies. We have specialists who can meet the business and security challenges facing Europe today,” said the Sejm Speaker in a press statement after the meeting. “We also talked about the crucial issue of protecting minors from undesirable content they may encounter in the digital world,” Hołownia reported.

The Speaker also noted, “an encouraging issue is the departure from Article 7 in relations with Poland, which is a very important signal that we are back on the right track in our contacts with Europe.” He added that this is also a crucial signal for business, “stabilizing the situation in this very important area for the entire EU, for which we in Poland are now responsible.” Hołownia also pointed out that “we have many regulations ahead of us concerning large technology companies, copyright law, and regulations related to opening up to the common digital market within the Union.” – Here in the Sejm, we attach great importance to this and count on the best possible cooperation,” he said.

During the meeting with Vice-President Vestager, Speaker Hołownia emphasized that the Sejm, in its new approach, attaches great importance to involving citizens in the democratic process and the legislative procedure. In this context, he referred to planned changes to the Sejm’s regulations to enhance openness and transparency in lawmaking. This includes creating a special platform that will enable every citizen to participate using a trusted profile in the consultation of laws being developed in the Sejm. Another significant change presented by the Speaker will ensure the transparency of amendments submitted during the legislative process, particularly at the committee stage—each amendment will have to be recorded online, with information on who submitted it and what it concerned.

The EC Vice-President highlighted “the great expectations of Poland and the role it can play in the European community.” “These are difficult times, full of uncertainty. A country as important and large as Poland should fully play its role in terms of security, competitiveness, and the pursuit of new technologies,” Vestager said in a statement to the media. “The Foreign Affairs Council in its recent discussions on Article 7 and the Article 7 procedure, after assessing that there is no clear threat to the rule of law in Poland, hopes as a Commission to close the procedure so that Poland is no longer subject to it,” the Vice-President stated.

According to Vestager, “it is clear that Poland will play an increasingly important role in the European Union, not least because of the funds that will be released for Poland with the support of the parliament.” “And this is an element of optimism and hope that arises even in such difficult times when there is a war just around the corner, not only beyond Poland’s borders but also the EU’s. This is so crucial for our security,” she explained.

The meeting was also attended by Michał Kobosko, Chairman of the Sejm’s Committee on European Union Affairs.

During her visit to the Sejm, the EC Vice-President also participated in a joint meeting of the Committee on EU Affairs and the Committee on Digitization, Innovation, and Modern Technologies. Vestager provided information on the current agenda, legislation, and EU programs concerning competitiveness, digital transformation, and economic security.

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