Lyudmyla Kozlovska, President of the Open Dialogue Foundation (ODF), has been hosted by the ALDE Group for an exchange of views about the rule of law and the situation of the civil society in Poland and in Ukraine.
ODF is a civil society organisation with headquarters in Warsaw, engaged in the defence of the rule of law and human rights across Central and Eastern Europe.
Lyudmyla was banned from entering the Schengen zone by the Polish government, who did not give any concrete reason for this ban. She was detained on 18 August 2018 in Zaventem on the basis of a Polish entry ban introduced into the Schengen Information System (SIS II). One day later, the Belgian border authorities deported her to Kiev, Ukraine. The fact that Lyudmyla and her Foundation repeatedly criticised the policy of the Polish government raises serious concerns about misuse of the SIS for political purposes, undermining the mutual trust that is crucial to law enforcement cooperation in the EU.
Lyudmyla's presence at the ALDE Group meeting was possible thanks to Belgian authorities’ decision to issue a special visa, allowing her to travel to Brussels.
The video recording of the event can be watched below: