THE STATUS OF FOREIGNERS
IN THE POLISH LEGAL SYSTEM
Dr., Lecturer, Jagiellonian University, Kraków
The most striking features of the Polish legislation on foreigners are its extremely recent character and the speed of its evolution. The 1997 constitutional regulation is based on the three main principles: 1) the distinction of constitutional rights granted to everyone and constitutional rights granted to citizens; 2) the principle of national treatment of foreigners; 3) the guarantee of some special rights to foreigners of Polish origin. The constitutional text leaves a wide margin of discretion to the Constitutional Court. There is no doubt that EU law has contributed to improvement of the legal status of third-country nationals in some fields. However, the main changes for third country nationals do not result from the EU law but from the implementation of general standards set by the international and European law of human rights and some specific conventions pertaining to foreigners. The problem of a terrorist threat on Poland was in principle absent from the public debate. Almost all anti-terrorist legislative measures in Poland were taken while implementing the EU anti-terrorist law. The EU law was not seen as a foreign element perturbing the national legal tradition but rather a natural stimulator and pattern for inevitable legal reforms.