European Parliament European Parliament
Committee on Petitions The President of the European Parliament
The Secretariat Rue Wiertz
Rue Wiertz B-1047 Brussels
Petition presented by XXXXX on behalf of XXXXX and other signatories, on the need for a transparent investigation
into the Polish Air Force Tupolev Tu-154M aircraft crash in Smoleńsk on the 10 April 2010.
We ask the European Parliament to request the European Commission to make a statement on the 10 April 2010
Polish Air Force plane crash in Smoleńsk, that killed all 96 passengers on board including President Lech Kaczyński
and his wife, the chief of the Polish General Staff and senior Polish military officers, Poland's deputy foreign minister,
12 members of the Polish Parliament, the president of the National Bank of Poland, Polish Human Rights
Ombudsman, senior members of the Polish clergy, other distinguished representatives of the Polish elite and relatives
of victims of the Katyń massacre.
The lead petitioners and some of the other signatories are close relatives of the people who died in the crash.
This petition for a transparent technical international investigation is supported by over 400,000 persons to- date as
evidenced by the attached documents.
In presenting the petition, we would also like to bring forward to your attention petition No 447/95 by Mr Jim SWIRE
(British), on behalf of UK Families Flight 103, on the destruction of the flight PAN-AM 13 above Lockerbie in 1988 -
We believe that the spirit of the recently adopted Regulation No 996/2010 (of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 20 October 2010 on the investigation and prevention of accidents and incidents in civil aviation and
repealing directive 94/56/EC), and in particular art. 5(4) of the above mentioned Regulation provides strong
precedence for European Union and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) involvement in the Polish
investigation proceedings by assisting Poland in ensuring that a transparent, impartial and independent technical
investigation is conducted while at the same time discharging its treaty obligations arising in particular from:
- article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;
- article 6(3) of the Treaty on European Union;
- article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
We put to you, that the fact that the Polish and Russian governments appear themselves to have adopted civil aviation
legislation procedures means that the petitioners, families of the victims and other signatories to this petition should
have the right of recourse to the full spectrum of legislation the spirit of which is similar to that of the Chicago
We further put to you, that it is our belief that to-date, the Polish government has:
1. failed to conduct a transparent, impartial and thorough investigation;
2. failed to protect the citizens that perished in the flight but their families by not establishing clear lines of
communication nor the adequate legal and diplomatic support for those most closely affected by the crash;
3. failed to put in place clear legal basis for the investigation enabling it to have access to evidence and recourse.
The inadequacies of the investigation are repeatedly demonstrated through continued breaches of international treaties,
processes and standards. To cite a few:
Victim Identification Procedures
These were not carried out according to the internationally recognised Interpol standards not only affecting the
credibility of the investigation but also leaving the grieving families with a lot of doubt, greatly distressed and some
seeking exhumation of their loved ones.
Widely recognised international processes have been totally ignored only increasing the families’ pain and suffering.
Preservation of plane wreckage has not been undertaken which is clearly in breach of Chicago Convention
There appears to be no bilateral instrument at all based on which the investigation is being undertaken that adopts
Annex 13 of the Chicago Convention and sets out other applicable framework for the investigation. The Russian
Governmental Committee delegated the technical investigation to the Interstate Aviation Committee, the body with
unclear legal basis background, without any written consent from Polish authorities. Despite claims by the Polish and
Russian governments that Annex 13 of the Chicago Convention is the applicable instrument, both sides appear to be
consistently breaching and deviating from the provisions of the Annex.
These failures we fear will mean that the causes of the crash will never be explained thus it will not be possible to take
steps to prevent such crashes taking place in the future nor will it be possible to offer any comfort to the families of the
victims whose pain and suffering is ongoing.
We believe that the petition presents a real test for the European Union to demonstrate its unprecedented character by
intervening in a matter that has a wide impact on how human rights, EU safety and aviation safety of EU Member
States are observes as a whole (keeping in mind the upcoming World Cup in Russia in 2018), we thus ask:
- that the European Parliament and the European Commission take steps to ensure that a transparent through technical
investigation is conducted into the 10 April 2010 Polish Air Force plane crash in Smolensk;
- The Commission, on the one hand to provide a statement on the Smolensk crash keeping with the importance of the
question, to conduct a preliminary investigation and provide information regarding compliance with relevant
Community legislation or contact SOLVIT, and, on the other, to request the Member States concerned to carry out a
thorough inquiry into the disaster, with possible international and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
- for the personal attention for this matter of Commission Vice-President and Commissioner Siim Kallas (for aspects
relating to transport), Commission Vice-President and Commissioner Viviane Reding (regarding aspects of justice,
fundamental rights and citizenship), Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva (for aspects of international cooperation,
humanitarian aid and crisis response) and of President Barosso (for all other aspects);
- to forward the file to the Committees on Petitions of the Parliaments of the Member States who lost citizens in the
accident such as UK;
- to transmit the petition to the Committees of Foreign Affairs, Security and Defence Policy, Transport and Tourism,
Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Legal Affairs asking them to deliver an opinion on the aspects of the
question falling within their merit, or conduct a fact-finding visit to the country or region concerned and issue a
Committee report containing its observations and recommendations;
- for the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament to seek cooperation with national Polish authorities to
resolve the issues raised in this petition answering the plight of the signatories;
- to draw the attention of the Council of Ministers to this serious question, asking that an international technical
inquiry be carried out calling on most experienced European experts;
- to submit this matter as of utmost importance to the attention of the Plenary; and
- to take any other action considered appropriate to try to resolve the issue concerned.