#KOD - the Committee for the Defence of Democracy - has been presented with the European Citizen's Prize 2016 for defending fundamental rights and democracy today in European Parliament in Brussels.
KOD was nominated for the prize by Roża Thun MEP.
The Committee for the Defence of Democracy (Komitet Obrony Demokracji – KOD) is a grassroots civic movement founded in 2015 in Warsaw.
Its goal is to protect the rule of law, democracy and human rights, defend European values and strengthen civil society. KOD is the movement which organised the biggest mass protests in Poland since the fall of communism, gathering hundreds of thousands of people on the streets of all major cities in the country and numerous capitals worldwide. 1.5 million Poles claim they have at least once attended a KOD protest.
New Europeans work closely with KOD and support their work with the Polish diaspora in Europe.
Speaking in La Rochelle, where Mateusz Kijowski and New Europeans met on Saturday 8th October at the European Civic Academy, Roger Casale said:
"The work of Mateusz Kijowski and KOD is not just for the people of Poland, it is done on behalf of the citizens of Europe.
We cannot have a European Union where fundamental rights and the rule of law is not respected by one member state.
If we tolerate that, we would kill not just democracy in Poland but also the idea of Europe as a space in which the values of liberty, equality and solidarity have any real meaning for European citizens.
We would kill off the idea of a Europe as a human space, a space in which human rights are paramount, a Europe in which all citizens can feel free and secure.
We congratulate KOD on the award of the Eropean Citizens' Prize 2016 and for all their achievements on behalf of the people of Poland and the citizens of Europe.
We wish Mateusz Kijowski and all his collaborators well for the future and we will continue to support the battle for democracy in Poland and in Europe because it is our battle too."
Roger Casale,Founder and CEO, New Europeans