EU Affairs

From Poland With Love – January

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

1.000 Robes March & Beyond

After the Sejm approved the controversial law that would allow to discipline judges questioning the government’s reforms (read more in the previous issue of the Newsletter), associations of judges and lawyers organized the “1.000 Robes March” in Warsaw.

It was headed by a group of judges wearing robes and carrying banners that read “The right to independence” and “The right to Europe”. “It is not usual for us to go out in robes to protest against depriving people of their right to courts,” Krystian Markiewicz, president of the Polish Judges Association Iustitia and one of the march organizers, said. “We are doing this for the citizens,” he added.

Lawyers were dressed in black pleated robes embellished with different symbols and colored accessories. Many carried signs indicating their country of origin: Belgium, Estonia, Austria, Latvia, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Greece, etc. In total, judges from 22 countries were represented. The visiting judges were greeted at the pre-march gathering in front of the modern building of the Supreme Court by Prof. Małgorzata Gersdorf, chief justice of Poland´s Supreme Court and a forceful critic of the PiS “reforms”.

Crowds lined the entire 5 km route, cheering and applauding the protesting judges. As the march continued up the Nowy Świat, busiest and the most touristic street in Warsaw,  shop workers and many clients came out to the street to join onlookers bowing their thanks to the passing judges and international visitors.

The march passed the presidential palace and ended at the parliament building to symbolize the principle of separation of powers, which according to the organizers is now under threat.

A government spokesman told Reuters: “We believe that the bills that are being adopted in Poland regulate stability of the legal system.” Ahead of the march, a PiS spokesman was quoted by TVN24 as saying that judges should not get involved in politics.

In an urgent opinion, the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, together with the organization’s Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law, concluded that the amendments to laws on the judiciary passed by the lower house of the Polish parliament  on December  20th, 2019, which are now being scrutinized in the Senate, may further undermine judicial independence. The Venice Commission prepared the urgent opinion in response to a request from the Marshal of the Senate so it could have been ready before the end of the Senate session during which these amendments had to be discussed.

Justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro called the opinion “a parody”. “We will never accept narration included in the so-called document presented by an informal body,” he said. “What the authors of this document are proposing fits into the narration which I had the chance to hear from justice minister of countries of the so-called old European Union. They lectured me, with a sense of superiority and arrogance in tone, that they represented more mature democracy, more civilized citizens of higher legal culture, and therefore their citizens have more privileges than Poles,” the minister said. According to the deputy-minister Marcin Warchoł, using double standards, hypocrisy and mendacity were one of the first objections against the document that came to his mind. “This informal, illegal, unofficial visit coined a para-opinion. A document which fits in the bin at best,” he said.

On January 17, Poland’s Senate rejected the draft law. The upper house, where the opposition holds a narrow majority, voted 51 to 48 to reject the draft. However, a few days later, the Sejm overruled Senate´s decision and passed the draft again. The measure was approved by 234 PiS MPs and rejected by 211 opposition MPs with nine abstentions. The opposition called this parliamentary vote a “coup d’état”. The draft law goes to President Andrzej Duda, who has already expressed support for the legislation and is expected to sign it.

The European Commission commented it was “very concerned” with the state of the rule of law in Poland. “The Commission is very concerned about the rule of law situation in Poland, in particular about the final adoption of the law amending the organization of the ordinary courts,” a Commission spokesman said. “The Commission will not hesitate to take the appropriate measures as necessary,” the spokesman added, referring to possible further legal cases by the EU against Warsaw. “The latest developments are only proving the urgency of engaging in fair and constructive dialogue to resolve issues at hand.”

On January 28, EU Commission deputy chief Vera Jourova visited Warsaw to meet Poland’s top government officials, including justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro, to discuss reforms to the judicial system, including the so called muzzle law. “We are ready for dialogue. We cannot make compromises on the basic principles, and the rule of law is one of the basic principles. However, it is quite obvious that we need to work together on better defining what are the basic principles of the rule of law, what are the main parameters of independent judiciary, and what the member-states are expected to do to keep their position as reliable, trustworthy partners in the European judicial sphere,” Jourova told media in Poland.

According to the media, the meeting of the commissioner with Zbigniew Ziobro was not a dialogue but two monologues. “I declared readiness to convince my colleagues from the ruling camp to consider coming up with a new model for choosing judges,” Zbigniew Ziobro told journalists after the meeting. The commissioner, however, said she did not gather from the meeting that any compromise had been proposed, adding that the discussion focused on differences in position and these were very clear.

“We met today in order to avoid the danger of freezing funds for Poland,” speaker of the Senate Tomasz Grodzki (Civic Coalition) told reporters after the meeting. He added that the EU could set up a body that will establish whether EU countries infringe the rule of law. “This body will have to produce a document that will be the starting point for further budget decisions,” he added.

Also Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, met the speaker of the Senate to discuss the rule of law during her brief visit to Poland. Pelosi’s visit followed a letter of concern regarding the reform being published by American Democratic representatives Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and William Keating, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy and the Environment. Addressed to Polish President Andrzej Duda, the letter said that the reforms undertaken since the PiS came to power in 2015 “fail to respect the principles of judicial independence and separation of powers”. The letter asked Duda to veto the bill, which it said “would represent a significant step backward for Poland’s historically strong leadership in democratic reforms in Europe”.

Duda: Hate Speech against Judges?

The president said at the meeting in Opole Lubelskie that “there are areas in Poland that require fixing – justice system needs to be fixed”. “It’s unacceptable that people say that courts are unfair, that they don’t work right, and that you won’t find justice there,” Andrzej Duda claimed. “Some judges, I’d like to stress that only some, certainly not all, some judges think they are gods, because they wield unlimited power over the people who stand before the court. It’s actually the other way round and completely different. The judges are servants of the Republic and the Polish nation,” he added.

Some opposition members and commentators called the speech as an example of aggressive language and even hate speech in Polish politics. It is said that Andrzej Duda used this type of narrative to mobilize his core voters before the official start of the presidential campaign.



New Opposition Leader

Borys Budka was elected as the new leader of the main opposition party, Civic Platform (PO). He defeated Tomasz Siemoniak who was backed by an outgoing PO leader, Grzegorz Schetyna.

Borys Budka won 78,77% of the vote in election for the PO’s president; Tomasz Siemoniak – 11,18%, Bogdan Zdrojewski – 7,57%, and Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz – 2,48% — stated the PO Election Commission. The turnout was 76.4%.

Borys Budka was justice minister in 2015, vice-president of the Civic Platform in the 2016–2020 period and recently has been elected Civic Coalition Group leader. He is known for his passion for marathons and zealous defense of the independent judiciary. It is said that he will rejuvenate the party by appointing Rafał Trzaskowski, the mayor of Warsaw, as its first vice-president, and some of the youngest MPs to the board.

Budka’s target now is to lead an effective campaign for PO’s presidential candidate, Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska, who is polling second to the incumbent Andrzej Duda. Kidawa-Błońska’s result may decide about his entire political career. Her significant loss can end his leadership very quickly, her victory can be a catapult that will bring him to the prime minister’s office.


Another Record of the Orchestra

On second Sunday of January the 28th Grand Finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy; WOŚP) was held in Poland and in dozen other countries. The biggest charity annual fundraiser was run by 1.760 centers, which coordinated the work of some 120.000 volunteers. This year the money collected will be used to improve the conditions of operating theatres, intensive care units, and diagnostic imaging departments.

Like always, there were numerous attractive items listed for auction to support the cause of the charity, for instance: a replica of Olga Tokarczuk’s Nobel Prize medal, dinner with Robert Lewandowski, and gifts from ambassadors, including the German one.

This year all money collected by Polish volunteers in Australia was directed to symbolically help animals after the disastrous fires in the country.

The preliminary result of the fundraiser was PLN 115.362.894 (over EUR 27 million), which is much more than last year. The final result of the fundraiser will be announced on March 8th.

Traditionally the culmination of the day was “Light Up the Sky” performance. This year it was dedicated to Paweł Adamowicz, mayor of Gdańsk, who was murdered on stage during the “Light Up the Sky” organized last year in his home city (read more in the January 2019 issue of the Newsletter).

Since 1993, Grand Finale fundraiser is held in aid of a specific medical objective. WOŚP’s main goal is to support Polish children’s hospitals by the purchase of modern medical equipment. WOŚP also finances 6 medical and one educational initiative. Benefactors can support the initiative by putting money in the collection boxes, making online and mobile transfers as well as taking part in charitable auctions held via online platform.

In the last 27 years WOŚP raised over EUR 250 million and donated over 61.900 pieces of medical equipment.

You can still make a contribution:

Economy & Environment

Greener Energy With Japan

Japan and Poland celebrated 100th anniversary of diplomatic ties last year and agreed to deepen cooperation in promoting low-carbon energy during a summit aimed at strengthening their strategic partnership.

After holding talks with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki during his visit to Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his country would like to step up cooperation on hydrogen and nuclear power as well as coal power generation that uses so-called clean coal technology to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The topics of Morawiecki-Abe talks also included international issues regarding Russia, China, Brexit, unrest in the Middle East, and threats from North Korea.

“We agreed with Poland, which plays an extremely important role in the field of European security, to extend talks in this field, including further consultations of defense authorities and deepening scientific and technological cooperation,” Abe said.  “We agreed to coordinate our efforts to maintain the rules-based international order and cooperation between Japan and the Visegrad Four,” he added. Morawiecki stated that in order “to enter a higher level of economic development” Poland “will need such a good partner as Japan” in the area of nuclear, communication and 5G technologies.

During his first trip to Japan, Morawiecki was seeking greater investments to the Polish economy. So far the most important Japanese investors in Poland are Toyota Motor Corp. and Bridgestone Corp. There are rumors that Japanese companies will also help Polish government in designing and building the Central Communication Port, a mega airport hub connected with all major cities in Poland by a new train network.

After the visit, Prof. Tatsuya Okubo, dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo, and Prof. Krzysztof Kurek, director of the National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ), signed an academic exchange agreement between the two institutions. The agreement was signed during a Polish-Japanese seminar on high-temperature reactor technology in Warsaw. It was organized by the NCBJ together with the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency, in cooperation with the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology, and the Polish Ministry of Energy.

The discussion about the first Polish nuclear power plant started in 1980s when the Żarnowiec Nuclear Power Plant was under construction, but was abandoned on September 4, 1990. PiS leaders who favor megalomaniac projects came back to this idea. The opposition Civic Coalition is against the nuclear power plant, especially Nowoczesna and the Greens support transition to the renewable energy without the nuclear transition period.


Investments Go Down

According to the latest report of experts of Grant Thornton “Investment plans of companies for 2020”, gross fixed capital formation increased by 25,7 % (from PLN 79 to 99 billion) between the third quarter of 2016 and the third quarter of 2019 (latest available data). Unfortunately, 2020 will not be so good. “The managers of medium and large companies surveyed by us still want to increase investments, but on a smaller scale than a year ago,” experts argue.

The companies limit their investment plans, declining expenditure in all areas of activity. They want to save the least on employees, most on renovations and infrastructure investments.

Innovation and Technology

Pioneer of Microsurgery

Adam Maciejewski has been awarded the prestigious Godina fellowship for his groundbreaking multi-organ transplants.

The professor from the Oncology Centre in Gliwice was recognized by the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM) as the first Pole in history for completely rebuilding the internal organs of a six-year-old boy’s neck by transplanting a new larynx, trachea and throat, as well as bone marrow.

As a one-year-old boy named Tymon swallowed toxic chemicals which burned his throat and made it impossible for him to even learn how to talk. Thanks to Maciejewski, the child received an entire set of new organs and bone marrow, which will eliminate the need for taking immunosuppressive drugs all his life. Moreover, Maciejewski was recognized by the ASRM for his work on transplanting a larynx, a muscle tube connecting the throat to the stomach, a windpipe with parathyroid glands, and layers of neck skin and muscle structures onto a 37-year-old man in 2015, and for carrying out a complex face transplant in 2013.

“It is a great honour and pleasure to be honoured by a group of reconstructive and microvascular surgeons, whose convention is currently taking place. This award will allow me to be ASRM’s ambassador for a year and visit the most prestigious centers in the world,” Maciejewski said.

The Godina Fellowship is named after Slovenian Marko Godina, a pioneer of reconstructive microsurgery. Despite his abbreviated career, tragically cut short at the age of 43, he led the way for a generation of microsurgeons in understanding the care and treatment of complex extremity injuries through early reconstructive microsurgery.


Technology after Brexit

Polish government launched a new initiative to promote Polish-British innovation called TechChallenge. Its goal is to bring together large corporations and tech start-ups and to support and promote innovation in both countries. The pilot edition of the TechChallenge will focus on the fintech and cleantech sectors. During the programme, large firms will identify challenges for which they need technological solutions, and start-ups will then pitch innovative solutions for them.

Minister of development Jadwiga Emilewicz has noted that Poland wants to strengthen its relations with Great Britain by supporting a partnership of large companies and innovative start-ups.

The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP) is responsible for the implementation of the UK-Polish TechChallenge project in Poland. As PARP Vice-President Adam Banaszek said during the conference, due to the degree of economic development and interest in innovation, the British market is “an excellent sector for the expansion of Polish start-ups and young technology companies.”


Foreign Affairs

Putin Speaks in Jeruslam. Duda Absent

January brought some more developments into the Polish-Russian conflict over the genesis of the World War II (read more in the previous issue of the Newsletter). In December last year, Vladimir Putin advanced a revisionist account of World War II in which Moscow’s notorious non-aggression pact with the Nazi regime is erased, and Poland, which was invaded by both Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin in September 1939, is labeled as anti-Semitic and cast as the guilty party collaborating with the Nazis.

When Polish President Duda was notified that Putin would give a keynote address in Jerusalem during the commemoration marking 75 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp at Israel’s national Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem, he also demanded time to speak. However, Yad Vashem, a public institution, refused, so Duda stayed conspicuously away. Andrzej Duda was one of the few conspicuous absentees since the event happened in the presence of some 50 world leaders, including US Vice President Mike Pence or French President Emmanuel Macron.

Lithuania has joined Poland in condemning Putin for playing down the secret Nazi-Soviet pact which carved up Eastern Europe at the outbreak of World War II. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his delegation also canceled their participation at the event at the last minute – officially – to allow more Holocaust survivors to partake in it.

For Duda it was unacceptable that presidents of Germany and Russia would be able to speak and Poland, the victim of both Nazi and Soviet attacks, would have to sit silently. Another difficulty was the role of the Israeli minister of foreign affairs during the ceremony. Israel Katz, the son of Polish-Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, criticized Polish government for “its own revisionism”.

The controversy over commemorations was also fed by a conflict of two billionaires. On one side, there was a former U.S. Ambassador Ronald Lauder, scion of the Estée Lauder fortune and president of the World Jewish Congress (New York), who has long sponsored the annual memorial celebrations at the gates of Auschwitz. On the other side, there was the oligarch Viatcheslav “Moshe” Kantor, a Russian fertilizer magnate who is a friend of Putin. Kantor heads the European Jewish Congress and its subsidiary, the World Holocaust Forum Foundation.

Polish and Israeli media stressed that it was not the president of Israel Reuven Rivlin or Yad Vashem who were deciding about the celebration but Viatcheslav “Moshe” Kantor. “It was a one man show run by Moshe Kantor, a guy whose name is not known to Israelis, who understood this to be an Israeli event, something official,” Ofer Aderet, history correspondent for the Israeli daily Haaretz said.

Putin, in his speech at the forum, implied that Poland was complicit in the Nazi genocide and claimed that 40 % of the Jews who died in the Holocaust were citizens of the Soviet Union. Historians called the latter claim absurd.

Videos presented at the ceremony focused almost exclusively on the Soviet Union’s role in defeating the Nazis, while downplaying the role of America, Britain, and other countries. They also failed to mention the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact that preceded the war, and other facts uncomfortable to Moscow.

In a letter to the Hebrew-language edition of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Yad Vashem expressed regret for the historical “inaccuracies” and “partial” facts contained in videos that were shown at the Forum.

“We apologize for the very unfortunate incident that happened,” Yad Vashem said in its letter. “Sadly, videos at the event, and particularly the one intended to summarize key points of World War II and the Holocaust, included inaccuracies and a partial portrayal of historical facts that created an unbalanced impression.”

A week after the Jerusalem event, Israeli president attended another ceremony, this time at the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland. During the ceremony, Duda told Rivlin that the Holocaust Forum had been colored by the personal friendship between the event president “Moshe” Kantor and Putin, giving it a pro-Russian taint, Haaretz reported.

Rivlin, in a meeting with Andrzej Duda, shocked the Polish president and many right-wing commentators by noting that although the Polish people fought against Nazi Germany, “many Poles stood by and even assisted in the murder of Jews.” He added that he invited Duda to Jerusalem for “discussions that will strengthen our relations and the important cooperation between our countries.” “I want to stress that the Poles fought for the liberty of the entire world and many Polish citizens fell in the battle for liberty in the war against the Nazis. Our fallen are etched in the annals of Polish history and we remember and honor them and expect others to do the same,” Duda said.




It has been a great announcement for Central European cinematography. North Macedonia’s Honeyland by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubo Stefanov and Czech student film Daughter by Daria Kashcheeva have received nominations for the 92nd Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards. It is the first time that a Macedonian film has received two Oscar nominations. But what brings the biggest joy in Poland is the nomination for Jan Komasa’s Corpus Christi.

Corpus Christi is inspired by true events. A 20-year-old criminal named Daniel experiences a spiritual awakening while serving a sentence for second-degree murder in a youth detention center. But because he has a criminal background, he cannot become a priest when he leaves. Instead, after being mistaken for a cleric, Daniel simply begins to act like one, posing as a recently ordained priest in a small community in south-east Poland that’s reeling from a recent tragedy (read more about the film in previous issues of the Newsletter).


“Passports” to Culture

“Passports” are being awarded every year by the Polityka weekly, one of the oldest and most influential Polish opinion magazines. The awards are symbolic identity documents which help artists to go out into the world. “Passports” are handed out to young talented creators pushing boundaries in art, who in a special and original way contribute to promotion of Polish culture at home and across the world.

This year’s laureates are already known to readers of “From Poland with Love”. For example, Bartosz Bielenia, leading actor in Corpus Christi, won the award in the film category. Jakub Józef Orliński was awarded in the classical music category (read more in the previous issue of the Newsletter).

A special award, Creator of culture, went to Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk. She received the prize from the hands of Kasia Kieli, President and Managing Director for Discovery Networks EMEA region, and Professor Janusz Fogler, chairman of the board of ZAiKS Association. “Thank you very much. I’d like to boast that my “Passport” turned 24 today and I think it’s the same age as many nominees and laureates. I could actually call myself a mom here,” Olga Tokarczuk said.

Here is the list of all laureates:

  • Literature: Dominika Słowik
  • Film: Bartosz Bielenia
  • Theatre: Weronika Szczawińska
  • Classical music: Jakub Józef Orliński
  • Popular music: Błażej Król
  • Visual arts: Weronika Gęsicka
  • Digital culture: Dawid Ciślak
  • Creator of culture: Olga Tokarczuk

The awards have been handed out since 1993. Rules hold that laureates can receive “Passports” only once.

Watch a video of Błażej Król:

Germany and Poland

Condor Flies East

Polish Aviation Group (PGL), the holding company of LOT Polish Airlines, has announced that it will acquire German leisure carrier Condor. Supposedly, Condor was in takeover talks with LOT, U.S. investment fund Apollo Global Management, and UK private investment company Greybull Capital. Thomas Cook, who went bankrupt last year, had a 49 % stake in Condor. The deal is expected to be closed in April 2020, once antitrust approvals are obtained. The merger brings together two firms of almost the same size, with the Polish firm booking revenues of EUR 1,9 billion in 2019, compared to Condor’s EUR 1,7 billion in its 2018-19 financial year.

LOT Chief Executive Rafal Milczarski said the deal meant “there was no more uncertainty” about Condor’s future after it was kept afloat with a German government loan. Milczarski refused to say how much LOT had offered for Condor, adding: “We are going to pay a fair price, a price that will enable us to pay off the loan in its entirety.” He was referencing the EUR 380 million bridging loan granted by German public investment bank after Thomas Cook declared bankruptcy, which is slated to be paid back later this year.

Mateusz Morawiecki hailed the purchase saying: “Up until now foreign companies have been taking over Polish precious assets, now it is the other way round!”

Condor will continue to operate under the current brand, with the same management team, and with the same service as they currently offer.

New ownership can change relations between Lufthansa and Condor. Currently, the relationship consists of a contract that feeds Lufthansa traffic to long-distance Condor routes in Frankfurt as well as the Condor’s participation in the Lufthansa´s frequent flyer program Miles & More. Lufthansa has been bringing passengers on Condor’s behalf to Frankfurt for years now. This allows them to easily switch to the long-haul aircraft of the leisure carrier. Without these feeder services, Condor will need to find another way to fill up its aircraft.

Lufthansa may ask the European Commission to investigate the possibility of “unlawful state aid” since the Polish government has been supporting LOT before, including financing LOT in 2014 and integrating it into other state-owned PGL holding companies four years later. Wizz Air is also calling for the process to be checked by the EU according to Süddeutsche Zeitung. In fact, Wizz Air’s chief, Jószef Váradi, said himself that “the [Polish] government is doing everything it can to support LOT”.

Condor operates more than 50 planes, while LOT has a fleet of 80 aircraft. Critics in Poland say that Condor’s fleet is old and will have to be replaced soon. New Condor’s owner has hinted that it is looking to replace Condor’s fleet of 16 Boeing 767-300ERs, which are from 18 to 28 years old. According to Milczarski, this fleet renewal should begin by 2024.


Swine Fever Over the Border

Polish and German agricultural ministers Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski and Julia Kloeckner were discussing in Berlin new action to prevent the spread of the African swine fever (ASF) in wild boars in Poland close to the German border including border fences and increased hunting of the animals.

Poland recorded 55 outbreaks of ASF in wild boars in various locations in December, including cases just 12 km from the German border. In total, the Polish authorities reported 20 new finding places of infected wild boar from Western Poland. 17 finding places were in Lubusz region and further three in Greater Poland region.

As discussed in Berlin new preventive measures should be:

  • The development of a common set of measures to reinforce previous efforts. That includes the construction of a fence along the border to prevent wild boar from migrating to Germany.
  • It will be examined how the German technicians can help construct protective fences on the Polish side. A visit to that end is planned soon.
  • Intensification of cooperation in the field of R&D.
  • Cooperation to drastically reduce the density of wild boar, which includes the preventive shooting of boar.

Eastern German states of Brandenburg and Saxony started setting up a fenced corridor along the border and a drastic reduction in the wild boar density, for example through shooting as an effective preventative measure. Brandenburg has erected about 120 km of electric fencing to prevent wild boars infected with African swine fever (ASF) from straying across the border from Poland and infecting its pig herd.

ASF is harmless to humans but often deadly in pigs. It originated in Africa before spreading to Europe and Asia and has already killed hundreds of millions of pigs, while reshaping global meat and feed markets.

Asian countries regularly impose import bans on pork from regions where ASF has been discovered, causing huge loss of business for meat exporters. ASF has already affected Poland’s export to China and now is threatening Germany’s huge pork production. A confirmed case in Germany could prompt an import ban, ending the boom times for pig farmers, who have seen exports to China, the world’s biggest consumer of pork, jump due to outbreaks of ASF in Asia. It could also have knock-on effects in the Netherlands and Denmark, where the main suppliers of piglets for Germany are based.


Disinformation {reading}

I recommend a longer article about the defamation of Polish judges by the government written for The Atlantic by Anne Apelbaum, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a senior fellow of the Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University, privately wife of Radosław Sikorski MEP, former minister of foreign affairs in Poland.



Polls & trends

Foreigners in Polish Labor Market

CBOS, November 7-17, 2019

Most Poles (62 %) said that foreigners should be free to work in Poland while 29 % expressed the opinion that their access to the Polish labor market should be limited.

4 % said that foreigners should not be allowed to work in Poland.

Asked about the home country of most immigrants coming to work in Poland, 93 % said it was Ukraine. 23 % said it was Belarus and 21 % said the same about Vietnam. China placed fourth (12 %).

According to the Office for Foreigners, the highest number of immigrants to Poland come from Ukraine. They are followed by Belarusians, Germans, Russians and Vietnamese.

In the opinion of 74 % of respondents, foreigners coming to Poland from non-EU countries have good influence on the Polish economy. Only 13 % do not agree with this view.


Party Support

Kantar Public for “Fakty TVN”, 29-30.01.2020


PiS                                       35 %

Civic Coalition (KO)         30 %

Left                                     13 %

PSL                                      7 %

Confederation                  7 %



Presidential Race

Kantar Public for “Fakty TVN”, 29-30.01.2020


Andrzej Duda (PiS)                                        44 %

Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska (KO)             24 %

Szymon Hołownia (indep.)                          9 %

Robert Biedroń  (Left)                                   8 %

Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz (PSL)            4 %

Krzysztof Bosak (Conf.)                               3 %



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.