The MPs also wanted to meet with the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice, but this was refused.
The mission was attended by MEPs Jeroen Lenaers, Sophia In’t Veld, Vladimír Bilčík, Bartosz Arłukowicz, Juan Ignacio Zoido, Katarina barley, Łukasz Kohut, Róża Thun and Hohenstein and Marcel Kolaja.
At the press conference on 21 September, the Chair of the Committee stressed that the visit had brought new perspectives on the misuse of spyware in Poland. Poland’s government uses „national security“ and thus the secret services to justify operations. This undermines the system of legal and institutional checks and balances. People who are considered political opponents can be targeted in this way. Crucial democratic standards and civil rights enshrined in the laws of the EU and Poland would be grossly violated. This adds another dimension to the crisis of the rule of law in Poland. This would also have an impact on the 2023 parliamentary elections, which cannot be free nor fair with the wiretapping of political opponents. The European Parliament is also corrupted when MEPs sitting there are wiretapped.
According to Sophia In’t Veld, Pegasus is an instrument of an authoritarian agenda against opposition members and others with political dissent. This is all the more serious because most democratic institutions have been hijacked or dismantled, so victims have neither protection nor redress. Europol should come into play and provide assistance to those affected. The EU must increase pressure on Israel and the NSO company based there. The Israeli authorities would have to confirm whether or not the export licences had been cancelled for the Polish authorities and the contracts with them. The EU must quickly adopt strict regulations on the use of spy programmes, he said.