Friday, March 5, 2021

British politicians outraged by the activities of the Open Dialog Foundation

The head of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Democrats, Ian Liddell-Grainger (UK), wrote a letter to Rik Daems, chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), about controversial activities of the Open Dialog Foundation (ODF). He is demanding action on this matter. Liddell-Grainger said he sent the letter after "a lot of complaints."

Ian Liddell-Grainger wrote that the non-governmental organization ODF had unprecedented access to PACE members and premises for years.

"Even before the pandemic broke out, their foundations' representatives appeared on the fifth floor of the Palace (where all the offices of the national delegations are located) and on the second floor (where the close door committee meetings are held), which in itself is already inappropriate behavior." - we read in the letter.

At least one person from the ODF is on the list of people banned from entering the Schengen Area, making her entry to the 5th floor of the Palace even more inexplicable.

The parliamentarian also published a tweet of January 25, 2021 published by Open Dialog, which reads:

"The session was secret, but we [the Open Dialog Foundation] can reveal that the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Council of Europe accepted most of our 5 amendments to the resolution on the (lack of) independence of judges in Poland. The plenum is voting tomorrow, but we thank you today. : @K_Smiszek @Gasiuk_Pihowicz @MarekBorowski @barbaraanowack @KMunyama".

Ian Liddell-Grainger points out the words "our 5 amendments" and that although the session was secret, one of the PACE members provided information to the "outside." 

In the opinion of the author of the letter, these tweets could represent a serious breach of the Code of Conduct, "and even active corruption if these Members were paid to submit these amendments (..) on behalf of the Open Dialog Foundation without declaring it." He requests the Council of Europe to investigate the matter.

The PACE press office informed that the chairman had received the letter and "in due course he would reply to Mr. Liddell-Grainger."

There is a strong possibility that the Polish parliament, Sejm, will also look into the matter.