EU Affairs

From Poland with Love – March

From Poland with Love header

In our Poland Newsletter guest contributor Dr. Milosz Hodun is giving us monthly updates about current news, events and all other things you need to know about Poland.


Topic of the month

LGBT- New Enemy

Rafał Trzaskowski (PO), as newly elected Warsaw mayor, signed the declaration on behalf of the city, pledging support to the LGBT+ community. “Everyone is equal before the law. No form of discrimination is allowed, and Warsaw should be open to everybody. Guided by the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, the country’s fundamental law, and the vision of the Capital City as a friendly and inclusive place”, the document starts.

The declaration provides guidance in such areas as security, education, culture, sport, administration, and work.  “Warsaw is for everyone.  This is not just a political slogan, but the vision I have for my beloved City as one where there is a place for everyone. Political leaders, also at the local government level, need to take a determined stand against homophobia and discrimination to bring about a positive change in social behaviour. This equality is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Poland,” says Trzaskowski.

Warsaw Town Hall explained on its official web site why the declaration is important:

  • out of the nearly 2 million people who make up the community of Warsaw residents, up to 200,000 are members of LGBT+ groups,
  • nearly 70 percent of LGBT people have experienced some form of violence over the last two years. For LGBT teenagers, the place where they experience aggression is usually school (26%), with their peers as the usual perpetrators (19%).

The declaration was designed with local LGBT+ organizations. A spokesperson for Miłość Nie Wyklucza, an NGO that fights for marriage equality, said: “Aside from implementing specific solutions to the issues of our community, today is about joy and pride about living in Warsaw which is becoming a Rainbow City and a beacon for the region.”

PiS immediately started a mass counter-attack. It focused on the sex education and connected it with LGBT+ issues. PiS leaders condemned a school sex education program planned in Warsaw designed to teach pupils about sexual orientation, discrimination and reproductive health, according to standards set by the World Health Organization. The party wants to keep sex education mainly in the hands of parents, instead of schools or non-government organizations.

TVP, the public broadcaster fully dominated by PiS, used all its tools to attack Warsaw authorities.  Manipulations and fake news about the declaration based on WHO guidelines dominated national media for a week or so. All right-wing journalists were repeating that Trzaskowski wants to teach 4-year-old kids how to masturbate. Visions of BDSM lessons in primary schools were described by ultra-catholic and nationalistic commentators in all channels of TVP and Polish Radio. Of course PiS MPs joined willingly the battle against the LGBT+ community. The speaker of the Senate Stanisław Karczewski posted on his Facebook page a meme with a family protected from the rainbow by an umbrella with PiS logo. Elżbieta Kruk said that she wants her home town to be “LGBT free”.

PiS is using the LGBT topic as the main cultural issue to polarize the society ahead of European elections in May and national elections later in the year. The approach is similar to that of the party’s 2015 election campaign, where fearmongering of foreigners was at the heart of the party’s message.

Pawel Rabiej (Nowoczesna), a gay deputy mayor of Warsaw, added fuel to the fire backing adoption rights to same-sex couples. This gave more arguments for PiS to attack the LGBT+ community and divided the European Coalition, that gathers five parties from conservative PSL to liberal Nowoczesna and the Greens.

Jarosław Kaczyński at the PiS convention – using best examples from Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric-  warned all voters that by supporting the European Coalition they would not only risk losing all their social benefits, and that they would allow nefarious forces to influence the upbringing of their children.  “Our opponents attack our social policy and, even worse, attack families. They even attack children,” Kaczyński said, calling  the LGBT+ declaration “unbelievable”. “I did not believe it until I read it,” he said. “This is an attack on the family, and an attack conducted in the worst possible way, because it’s essentially an attack on children. We will say no to the attack on children. Polish parents have the right to raise their own children. We will not be intimidated. We will defend the Polish family.”

Trzaskowski response was very quick and appeared on Facebook: “Until recently, PiS was threatening Poles with a phantom invasion by millions of immigrants. Today, he talks nonsense about alleged plans to corrupt children. In fact, [the LGBT+ declaration] is about tolerance – to protect our fellow citizens from hate speech, intimidation and lynching. Teach children that words hurt, and that there is no anonymity on the internet.”

The entire discussion showed how diverse the European Coalition is. Many of the leaders criticized harshly Rabiej for his support for gay adoption (even though some other key figures of the Coalition supported the idea, including PO-appointed lead candidates). Grzegorz Schetyna showed his conservatism not only opposing the adoption but also showing his distance to the same sex marriage and civil unions.

Trzaskowski and Rabiej do have their supporters, however. “Only an open and diverse Poland, one that respects citizens can be strong. PiS – in a disgusting way – is building a campaign of hatred towards LGBT people. Instead of using sex education as a scare tactic, let them really protect children, for example by fighting against paedophilia in the Church,” Monika Rosa, MP from Nowoczesna, told Rzeczpospolita daily. Many commentators say that liberal Nowoczesna is pushing its progressive agenda on the pragmatic and technocratic Civic Platform in the cities where both parties formed majority in city council.



Teachers’ strike

Nearly 80% of all schools and preschools in Poland declared their will to take part in the nationwide strike, the president of the Polish Teachers’ Union (ZNP), Sławomir Broniarz announced. According to the unions, the strike is set to begin on the 8th of April with no end date scheduled.

The highest percentage of schools that declared readiness to join the strike was recorded in the following voivodeships: Kuyavian-Pomeranian (91%), Łódź (87%), Warmian-Masurian (87%) and Greater Poland (84%). According to the ZNP, as much as 91,2% of teachers, from all the schools which held the strike referendum, have approved of the protest.

The strike’s start date coincides with the external exams scheduled for April: middle school exams are set for 10th, 11th and 12th of April; 8th-grade exams for 15th, 16th and 17th of April and the A-level exams are to begin on 6th of May.

ZNP and Trade Union Forum demand teachers’ salary increase by PLN 1.000 (some EUR 235). Teachers are angry that PiS has just promised another huge social benefits package worth over EUR 10 billion and there is no offer for them. The unions are accusing the government of ignoring the negotiations and the teachers. “Solidarność” Trade Union, that supports PiS  government, is demanding smaller increases and is not supporting the ZNP’s strike. Some of its members chose a different form of strike and are occupying the HQ of the Lesser Poland Department of Education in Kraków, some are on hunger strike. Head of this department is known in Poland for her radical right-wing views. Oddly enough she is rumored to replace Anna Zalewska as minister of education. Zalewska, according to the media, was promised a lead position on PiS EP lists already in 2015 in exchange of taking the education ministry and running the very controversial reform.

Read more on the topic in the February issue of the Newsletter.


On Polish Courts in Luxembourg

The General Affairs Council will convene in Luxembourg on the April 9th to further discuss the issue of rule of law in Poland. In February, the European ministers discussed the situation in Poland for the 11th time in a row.

The situation in Poland and Hungary, in relation to the Article 7 procedure of the EU Treaty, is on agenda which was initially agreed upon by the ambassadors of member-states in Brussels. “It’s practically certain that it will stay on the agenda,” PAP learned from a source that insisted to remain anonymous. In mid March Danish government requested that the problem should be discussed and was supported by more or less half other member states. According to PAP, Poland opposed the idea claiming that there were no new aspects regarding the issue and therefore it shouldn’t be discussed before May’s election to the European Parliament.



WÓSP breaks another record

The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (WOŚP) raised a record PLN 175,9 million (some EUR 40 million). It’s almost 50 million more than last year.

The foundation’s president, Jerzy Owsiak made the announcement in the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk. He made reference to Gdańsk mayor Paweł Adamowicz who was murdered during this year’s fundraiser. PLN 16 million was raised on Facebook during a spontaneous “Mayor Adamowicz’s Last Collecting Box” event (see the January issue of the Newsletter).

WOŚP is one of the biggest non-governmental charity organizations in Poland, founded in 1993 to provide medical equipment to public hospitals in order to protect health and save children’s lives. For the last three years it has also been collecting money to provide better healthcare for the elderly. Every year its Grand Finale is an extraordinary event. Charity concerts and thousands of other attractions are organized in numerous cities in Poland by volunteers and WOŚP itself. During the first Grand Finale, in 1993, WOŚP collected about PLN 2,5 million (USD 1,5 million).

Have a look at WOŚP’s homepage (in English):


Church Pedophilia Report

Polish Catholic Church presented long-waited report on pedophilia. It documents hundreds of cases confirming that there is a big problem, but refusing to take the responsibility.

This is the first time Poland’s church published data, coming from more than 10.000 local parishes all over the country. Covering the period from 1990 to 2018, the study was commissioned by the Episcopal Conference of Poland. It found that a total of 624 victims, including nearly 200 under the age of 15, were sexually abused by 382 priests – who remained unnamed – in the last 28 years. “We know that this is still only the tip of the iceberg,” Jesuit Adam Żak, the episcopate’s coordinator for child protection and youth said.

Less than half the cases were reported to the state authorities. Of those that were reported a vast majority of the cases were confirmed by judges and offenders were sentenced.

Not less shocking than the report itself were words of comment of two top Poland’s priests, chairman and deputy chairman of the Episcopal Conference. Instead of simply apologizing and offering help to the victims, both archbishops said “We are sorry, but…”. “The church must be impeccable and firm in stigmatizing evil. But it must… also show mercy to the perpetrators if they strive for internal transformation, if they regret [their actions],” said archbishop Marek Jedraszewski. He called a zero-tolerance approach to offenders. “When the Nazis fought with Jews, applying a ‘zero tolerance’ mentality, it resulted in the Holocaust,” he said. “The church must be impeccably firm in stigmatizing evil, in the fight against evil, but it must also — in accordance with what Jesus taught us — call for conversion, penance and mercy to the perpetrators if they really want to take a new life, if they sincerely regret it.”

Archbishop Stanisław Gądeski said that the problem was not confined to the church and that related areas of abuse also needed attention. “What is the point of dealing with this problem in the Catholic Church if that problem persists in other groups of the society?” he asked.

Many commentators believe that the figures released in the report underestimated the true extent of the scandal. Nie Lękajcie Się (Have No Fear), an advocacy group that fights against pedophilia in the Polish church, published a report earlier this year that documented almost 400 cases of sex abuse by clergymen in the catholic church and detailed the cases of 85 priests convicted of pedophilia, another 88 whose alleged abuse has been exposed by the media and 95 others accused by reported victims. The report also names, unlike the church report, 24 archbishops and bishops accused of covering up abuse. The NGO’s delegation led by Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus MP handed the report to Pope Francis in the Vatican.

In Poland, pressure to clean the church intensified last year following the release of The Clergy (Kler), a movie about child abuse and greed in the church that broke box office records. Over five million viewers went to see the film since it was released in September. Also, in February, the statue of Henryk Jankowski, a priest and former leading figure of the Solidarity movement who died in 2010, was removed by protesters after he was accused for pedophilia (see February issue of the Newsletter).

More Information: Map of pedophilia in Polish church according to Nie Lękajcie Się Foundation.


Election Update

According to recent polls, the EP elections will be a battle between PiS and the European Coalition (Civic Platform, SLD, PSL, Nowoczesna and the Greens). These two blocks will compete in thirteen constituencies for some 45 of Poland’s 52 seats. It looks like only the newly created Wiosna party (left) and anti-establishment Kukiz’15 can reach the 5% threshold and win 3-5 mandates each. Every list counts ten names but the biggest focus is on list leaders. Among the most interesting competitions are:

  • Warsaw: Former SLD prime minister, speaker of the Sejm and minister of foreign affairs Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz will compete with Jacek Saryusz-Wolski MEP, who was elected from PO list in 2014 and run against Donald Tusk to become the president of the European Council. The European Coalition will also have other recognizable names like current MEPs Danuta Hubner and Michał Boni, Civic Platform MPs Andrzej Halicki and Michał Zalewski, Nowoczesna group leader Paweł Pudłowski and former Nowoczesna group leader (currently in PO) Kamila Gasiuk-Pihowicz. Jacek Saryusz-Wolski will be backed by the EP vice president Ryszard Czarnecki. Wiosna will be fighting for a seat for the party leader Robert Biedroń or Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, former Nowoczesna MP, now mostly known for her fight against pedophilia in the church.
  • In Wielkopolska (Poznań) the Coalition lists will be headed by two former PMs: Ewa Kopacz from PO and Leszek Miller from SLD. PiS will run here Zdzisław Krasnodębski, current EP vice president.
  • In Małopolska-Świętkorzyskie (Kraków) on the top of PiS list there will be Beata Szydło, former PM and Patryk Jaki, deputy minister of justice and candidate for mayor in Warsaw in 2018. The Coalition’s leader is Róża Thun MEP.
  • One of the most emotional races will take place in Lower Silecia (Wrocław) where current education minister Anna Zalewska will be challenged by Janina Ochojska, founder and president of the most famous Polish aid foundation.



Finance Minister Quitting. Perhaps

For a few weeks already media have been spreading rumors that the finance minister Teresa Czerwińska will leave the government. It has been reported that Czerwińska had tendered her resignation in protest at recently proposed PLN 40 billion social benefits package. Czerwińska was allegedly not consulted about the increase in social spending, and apparently had found out about the proposals only hours before Jarosław Kaczyński announced them at the party convention. PiS government will kick off the program in May with a one-off bonus to pensioners, proceed to expand its “500+” per child family subsidy to cover all firstborns from July, then issue a cuts to personal income taxes in a three-part move late in the year. (read more about the package in the February issue of the Newsletter).

It is said Czerwińska’s resignation was not accepted. And Morawiecki said no resignation had been tendered at all and called the whole affair “a storm in a teacup”. But these denials were not enough and journalists have published more leaks from the PiS HQ stating that Czerwińska will leave soon.

Deputy finance minister Leszek Skiba, currently the Ministry’s chief of fiscal discipline and spending policy (but replaced by Czerwińska on April 1st as the ministry’s chief of macroeconomic policy), is most frequently named as first in line to take the post.

Poland’s cabinet could organize a still larger reshuffling to spruce up its image ahead of May elections to the European Parliament and ahead of the autumn campaign for Sejm and Senate. “The option of government reconstruction ahead of the election is being seriously considered,” said Michał Dworczyk, head of the PM’s Office. Vacancies could include Deputy PM Beata Szydlo and minister of education Anna Zalewska, both candidates to the European Parliament.



Make a Wish

Peter Szulczewski is one of the richest Poles. His net worth is ca. USD 920 million. And he is only 36 years old.

Szulczewski was born in Warsaw. When he was 11 he migrated with his family to Canada, where he became the youngest billionaire. Szulczewski is a University of Waterloo alumnus and previously worked as a coder at Google before launching ContextLogic, a software company that looks at a person’s internet browsing history to predict their interests. In 2011 Szulczewski and his university friend Danny Zhang re-launched the company as Wish. Wish is a mobile e-commerce app that connects shoppers with merchants in China that sell discounted products listed on users’ ‘wish-lists.’ Most of the products are sent directly from China, and this app makes shopping very simple.  The app has over 500 million users on iOS and Android platforms worldwide.

It was reported that Szulczewski is obsessed with ordinary folks’ finances and has used that obsession to tailor an e-commerce marketplace for them.

Since Szulczewski has taken over as the CEO of Wish, the company has produced over USD 2 billion in sales each year and the company has broken many sales records. According to recent reports, Amazon offered USD 10 billion to buy Wish. But Szulczewski and his associates didn’t even consider the deal.

Szulczewski is known as a very modest and down to earth person.

Read more about Szulczewski in the Forbes Magazine:


German-Polish Battery

The governments of Poland and Germany have agreed on pooling their efforts to establish an independent battery production in Europe.

At the bilateral German-Polish economy forum in Berlin, Germany’s economy and energy minister Peter Altmaier and Poland’s technology minister Jadwiga Emilewicz tabled a joint declaration that outlines strategic cooperation in several fields of industrial policy and includes a commitment to “investigate possibilities to work together towards the endeavour of forming a project of common European interest in battery cell production.”

The German official says that batteries are one of the most important technologies both for the expected boom in electric mobility as well as for a multitude of other uses for electricity storage devices, such as home batteries in private households. “The ability to use this technology in a large variety of applications and on a large scale is crucial in order to remain competitive,” the common declaration reads.

“In terms of quantity, Germany is our number one partner, but we would expect more in terms of quality. Incidentally, it is not our biggest economic partner that has the most R&D centres in Poland, but the United States, which is not even in the top ten,” Emilewicz stressed.

The declaration was signed at the Polish-German Economic Forum in Berlin, which attracted close to 400 representatives of businesses.


Foreign Affairs

20 Years in NATO

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Poland’s accession to NATO became a strategic goal and twenty years ago, the first major post–Cold War expansion of the Alliance took place in an unlikely place: Independence, Missouri. Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland officially entered the organization in a ceremony at the Truman Library organized by the US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, herself a refugee from Czechoslovakia. The Polish foreign minister (and future liberal MEP), Bronisław Geremek, expressed his gratitude to Madame Secretary. He told her that this enlargement was “the most important event that has happened to Poland since the onset of Christianity.”

Madeleine Albright is the first female United States Secretary of State in U.S. history (1997-2001). She was nominated for this office by President Bill Clinton. Earlier she worked at the White House where her duties were connected with the foreign policy. She was a member of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institution and was appointed the American Ambassador to the United Nations in 1993.

To celebrate this anniversary Madeline Albright visited Warsaw and was welcomed with all honors, like a real leader. During her speech at the Warsaw University she warned about terrible consequences of fascism and nationalism.

To celebrate the anniversary president Andrzej Duda hosted an annual briefing of representatives of the Defence Ministry and the Polish Armed Forces for the first time in the Presidential Palace. He also visited the headquarters of the Multinational Corps Northeast in Szczecin.

The main celebration of the enlargement with top officials from four Central European countries took place in Prague. Milos Zeman (Czech Republic), Andrej Kiska (Slovakia), Janos Ader (Hungary) and Andrzej Duda (Poland) met in the Prague Castle. The presidents confirmed the pledge of their countries to spend 2% of the gross domestic product on defense. Poland has already met its pledge. Zeman, Kiska and Ader said they expect their countries to spend at least 2 per cent of GDP on defense by 2024. Mateusz Morawiecki called  the enlargement “one of the final acts in the cutting of the post-communist umbilical cord.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg commended Poland’s commitment to the Alliance in Warsaw in early March and struck a chord with Poles. “We are very grateful for the contribution Poland makes to NATO every day,” he said. “Poland is a very committed ally, an ally contributing to our shared security, to our collective defense in many different ways,” Stoltenberg added. “And that’s something we really welcome.”

Poland has been working hard to keep the label of a very committed ally in NATO. It spends 2% of its GDP on defense, participates in NATO foreign missions, such as in Afghanistan, and warmly welcomes the presence of NATO troops on its soil. In 2003, Poland was one of the few European countries, along with the United Kingdom and Spain, to send soldiers to participate in the US-led war in Iraq. In 2017, in Żagań, Polish authorities welcomed the arrival of around 3.500 US soldiers. This was the first rotation contingent under NATO’s Atlantic Resolve, a stationing of alliance troops on a nine-month rotation. Three months later, US combat units received a warm welcome from residents of the northern Polish town of Orzysz, which is located near Kaliningrad.

In 2018, a document entitled “Proposal for a permanent US presence in Poland” was sent to US government officials, members of Congress and Washington think tanks. It states that Poland is seeking an entire US tank division to be brought over to the country and is prepared to spend up to USD 2 billion (€ 1,77 billion) to make it happen. It became one of the PiS priorities in foreign affairs.



Orły 2019

The 21st ceremony of the Polish Film Awards Orły (Eagles) took place in March in Warsaw.

Seven awards went to Cold War directed by Paweł Pawlikowski: best film, best director, best leading female role (Joanna Kulig), best sound (Maciej Pawłowski and Mirosław Makowski), best cinematography (Łukasz Żal), best screenplay (Paweł Pawlikowski and the late Janusz Głowacki), as well as best editing (Jarosław Kamiński). Cold War was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign language film. It was inspired by the relationship between Pawlikowski’s late parents.

Four awards went to The Clergy (Kler) by Wojciech Smarzowski. It was honoured for the best leading and supporting male roles (Jacek Braciak and Janusz Gajos respectively), best music (Mikołaj Trzaska), and received the audience choice award.

The award for the best supporting female role was given to Aleksandra Konieczna who played in Janusz Kondratiuk’s A Cat with a Dog (Jak pies z kotem).

Krzysztof Zanussi received the lifetime achievement award.

It’s worth mentioning who was the winner (loser?) of the Węże (Snakes) awards for the worst films 2018, similar to the Hollywood Golden Raspberries. It was “Studniówk@” by Alessandro Leone. It says a story of students and faculty at a university who have wild misadventures as they pair off in bickering couples, who engage in shenanigans that ultimately lead to life lessons that they will hold on to until the end… The movie scored less than 3 on IMDb and FilmWeb.

“Squadron 303” (“Dywizjon 303. Historia Prawdziwa”) by Denis Delic was the Snakes runner-up.

See the trailer of the worst Polish movie in 2018:


Last Klezmer of Galicia

Leopold Kozłowski, Polish pianist and honorary citizen of Kraków, called the “last klezmer of Galicia”, died at 100. Klezmer is a traditional musician of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe.

Born in a Jewish family in 1918 in Przemyślany near Lviv, Leopold Kozłowski-Kleinman lost his parents during the Holocaust. His paternal grandfather, Pejsach Brandwein, was a famous musician in the klezmer musical tradition. His 14 sons, including Zvi, Leopold’s father, were also musicians. His uncle, clarinet player Naftule Brandwein, became world famous after migrating to the United States, where he became known as king of klezmer artists, or king of Jewish music. Kozlowski’s brother Yitzhak-Dulko was a gifted violinist.

After the WWII, Kozłowski joined the Polish People’s Army. Post-war fate connected the pianist with Kraków. After the war he settled in Krakow where he married and raised his daughter. For 23 years he was the conductor and musical director of a military orchestra, in which he rose to the rank of a colonel. In 1968 he was ousted by the Communist regime. He worked as the musical director of the Jewish Theater in Warsaw, directed a gypsy orchestra.

After 1989, he associated his artistic life with Jewish music. He won several awards during his lifetime including the Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis awarded by the Polish culture ministry. In 2014, he was made an honorary citizen of Kraków.

“Music saved my life,” he told “Haaretz” in an interview in 2012. “I was in a concentration camp, in a ghetto and in the forest. Music gave me strength. Hitler destroyed Judaism, but not its music. It lives forever.”

Watch a video:


Germany and Poland

Leopard Memorandum

Ursula von der Leyen participated in a conference organized by the GMF and Polish Institute of International Affairs, on 20th anniversary of the Polish NATO membership. During her visit in Warsaw she signed with Mariusz Błaszczak, ministers of defence, a memorandum of understanding pertaining to maintenance support that is to be provided for the Leopard 2 MBTs used by the Polish military. The support services are to be rendered by the Bundeswehr.

Poland, within the framework of intergovernmental agreements signed with Germany, has acquired two lots of Leopard 2 main battle tanks coming from the surplus inventory of the Bundeswehr. Within the period between 2002 and 2003, 128 2A4 tanks were delivered and they have become a part of the inventory of the 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade in Świętoszów. Meanwhile, within the period between 2014 and 2015, 119 were acquired from Germany in total, including 105 Leopard 2A5 vehicles and 14 Leopard 2A4 platforms. First they were received by the 34th Armoured Cavalry Brigade based in Świętoszów and starting from 2017 these vehicles started to be transferred to the 1st Armoured Brigade based in Wesoła (while the Świętoszów unit received the T-72M1 vehicles, that have been previously kept in storage).

Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks are being upgraded to the 2PL variant on the basis of agreement signed at the end of 2015 by a Polish consortium formed by PGZ and ZM Bumar-Łabędy company and a foreign partner: Rheinmetall. Meanwhile, WZM facility in Poznan (Military Automotive Works) is responsible for carrying out potential modifications or upgrades of those tanks, should the Polish Ministry of Defence decide to acquire the upgraded variety.


Polish-German Youth Symphony Orchestra

The Polish-German Youth Symphony Orchestra gave a concert in the Gorzów Wielkopolski Philharmonic, as part of the Odra River Music Days Festival. Young musicians performed outstanding works by composers from various eras, from classicism and Austrian composer Joseph Haydn’s music, to Polish romanticism represented by Stanisław Moniuszko and pieces by the German early-romanticist Franz Schubert. The concert featured 20th century music composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Leonard Bernstein.

The Polish-German Youth Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1973 by Rudolf Schumann and Gunther Reinecker from the Music School in Frankfurt a.O. and Mieczysław Tomaszewicz and Franciszek Pappelbaum from the Music School in Zielona Góra. The orchestra consists of young musicians up to the age of 25 and works under the direction of Polish and German conductors. The Orchestra gave over 20 concerts with the Berlin Police Orchestra and plays regularly in Schöneiche Palace, Berlin. Current conductors are Hannesa Metze, prof. Maciej Ogarek and prof. Bartłomiej Stankowiak.

The Odra River Music Days Festival is known as the most important music festival in the border area between Germany and Poland


Polls & trends

Party Support

IBRiS for Fakt, 30.03.2019

PiS 39%
European Coalition (PO+SLD+PSL+N+Greens) 36,5%
Wiosna 6,1%
Kukiz’15 6%
KORWiN 3,9%
Razem 2%
Fair Play 2%


About the author ______________________________________

Miłosz Hodun


Expert at the Nowoczesna party. PhD, formerly a part-time teacher at Reykjavik University School of Law. His main areas of interest are comparative constitutional law and federalism. Board member of Projekt: Polska Association. Until September 2015, he worked as an expert within “Presidential Experts’ Programme” at the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland. He is member of the Board of Directors of the European Liberal Forum.