Topic of the Month
5 More Years with Duda
Andrzej Duda has won the Polish presidential election by a wafer-thin margin. He narrowly beat Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski with 51,2% of the vote. Both candidates collected over 10 million of the votes, something that had been done only by Lech Wałęsa before. Turnout in the second round of the election was reportedly 68,2%, the highest of any presidential poll since the start of free elections in post-communist Poland.
Duda’s slim victory was very disappointing for the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party. Bearing in mind all the support the incumbent president got from the government, state television station TVP, state agencies and state owned companies, Jarosław Kaczyński expected a clearer victory and a green light for a series of new radical reforms. However, he received a clear signal that the support for his ideas is narrower that the power he actually has in Poland.
It has been reported that discussions about changes in the government have started after the elections. Prime Minister Morawiecki represents a vision of changing PiS into a broad conservative party closer to German CSU. His main opponent, Zbigniew Ziobro, wants to continue a radical march towards a total social renewal based on fundamental Christian values on the margins of the European integration.
The opposition Civic Platform (PO) launched a legal challenge to the presidential election result. “We called for the election to be declared invalid,” said PO leader Borys Budka, who claimed the election was neither “fair” nor “honest”. The most widespread irregularities were reported by the Polish diaspora, with tens of thousands of votes from abroad potentially left uncounted. A record half a million people had registered to vote abroad but only 415.951 ballots were counted. In the UK, almost 17% of ballots went missing. But there were also reports about suspected results in some nursing homes, which reported that the incumbent president won all the votes. Separate protests were filed over the use of state television to bolster the Duda´s campaign.
“We can expect a record number of election protests because these elections — in my view — have been carried out in an unjust manner,” said Michał Wawrykiewicz, a lawyer from the Free Courts Initiative. Civil society organizations helped the voters abroad to file the protests. Special groups were organized on Facebook to facilitate the process.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe declared that the vote had been largely organized professionally, but had been “tarnished” by biased coverage on the state television. The election campaign and “coverage by the public media was marked by homophobic, xenophobic and anti-Semitic rhetoric,” according to a statement by the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
Speaker of the Sejm Elżbieta Witek from the PiS responded: “Everyone can appeal”. “These appeals will be considered,” she added, “but I doubt that any appeal will have an impact on the outcome of the vote”. Adam Bielan, the head of the Law and Justice election team, said the claims should be assessed by the Supreme Court, but that the review would not change the outcome.
Rafał Trzaskowski, the defeated challenger for the presidency, says that “parties are not enough” and pledges to build a civic movement to unite all those who voted for him. Speaking at a first rally after the voting, in Gdynia, Trzaskowski called upon those who voted for him to either join political parties or to “come together and build a civic movement”. He declared that the civic movement would be a “New Solidarity” in which all will find their place.
It is not sure if the “New Solidarity” will be a new party or just a new name for Civic Platform or Civic Coalition. More details might be announced in September.
More Covid In! Szumowski Out?
Last days of July brought new daily records in the number of Covid-19 infections. On Thursday, July 30th, the Health Ministry said 615 infections were recorded, which was the new record. The record had lasted only until Friday, when 657 cases were reported. August started with 658 new cases. In total, Poland has reported 45.688 infections and 1.716 deaths so far.
Of the new cases, around 1/3 appeared in Silesia because of an outbreak among coal miners. Even higher numbers are expected in the upcoming days due to mass testing of miners.
Minister of health Łukasz Szumowski interrupted his holidays and came back to Warsaw. The opposition however commented that it happened many days too late. It is also commented that Szumowski knows that his role is limited by the PiS leadership after many scandals connected with the public procurement in his ministry which became public in the previous months (see the previous issues of the newsletter). There are rumors that Szumowski may even lose his job soon. So far, his deputies have taken the task of communicating the public opinion on the newest developments with respect to the epidemic, but without much success and with many unfortunate hitches instead.
The Government Crisis Management Team met to discuss, among others, the implementation of particular epidemic recommendations, as well as solutions to combat the Covid-19 spread. “Team discussed possible decisions to be taken in the future as regards particular restrictions that could be introduced in Poland. They may concern individual counties, those specific ones that have the greatest problems in terms of the number of infections,” the spokesperson of the government said.
Prime Minister Morawiecki announced that Poland may have to reimpose quarantine for travelers from countries such as Spain to contain the coronavirus. “It cannot be ruled out that if the situation gets worse, we will need to limit the spread of the coronavirus… We are trying to work out solutions that will not restrict business activities as before,” he noted.
Leaders of the 27 EU member states compromised on a long-term budget and recovery fund instrument early on 21 July. The EU has forged an agreement for a total deal of EUR 1,82 trillion, made up of EUR 1,074 trillion for the Union’s seven-year budget, known as the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), and EUR 750 billion borrowed to counter the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the agreement, Poland’s share of the budget has been set at EUR 124 billion, and up to EUR 160 billion with loans. Prime Minister Morawiecki called it an “unprecedented” amount. He also called the negotiations result “a great success from both the financial side and the entire architecture of supervision of budgetary funds”, stressing that Poland negotiated an additional EUR 600 million “in the final hours” of the summit.
From the Polish perspective, the most important part of the budget discussion was about linking the money with the rule of law. That original text referred to a system “to tackle manifest generalized deficiencies in the good governance of member state authorities as regards respect for the rule of law when necessary to protect the sound implementation of the EU budget, including NGEU, and the financial interests of the Union.” Part of the Polish governing coalition, especially the Justice Minister and his “Solidarity Poland” party, appealed to Morawiecki to veto any links between the rule of law and the budget so he was under the internal pressure. The final compromise “underlines the importance of the protection of the EU’s financial interests” and the rule of law and propose a regime of conditionality “to protect the budget and Next Generation EU”, to be introduced.
This conditionality was quickly praised as the biggest success of the summit. Charles Michel noted that the link between the budget and the rule of law is now clear. “For the first time in the EU’s history, respect for the rule of law will be a decisive criterion for budget spending,” president of the European Council said. Ursula von der Leyen was adamant that the agreement has a sound footing. “It’s very clear in the document, a very clear commitment to the rule of law, and a very clear commitment to the protection of the financial interests of the Union.”
And it’s exactly the opposite from what Mateusz Morawiecki and Victor Orban announced in a common press conference. They claimed success, announcing “there is no direct link in the agreement between the rule of law and budgetary resources”. The Polish opposition immediately announced that Morawiecki was once again lying and manipulating.
The difference in understandings stems from the confusion over how the decision on the rule of law mechanism would be made, and which body or bodies would be responsible for it: whether, as Poland’s government claims, unanimity at the European Council will be required, or whether a qualified majority voting in the Council of the EU is sufficient. It is true that the mechanisms to execute this new rule are yet to be proposed by the European Commission and accepted by a qualified majority in the Council. European leaders did not protest loudly against the Polish-Hungarian duo’s claims, since they know Morawiecki and Orban were doing this only for internal purposes in their home countries. Such reaction may signalize that the EU elites want to normalize the relations with both Central European troublemakers and this is very bad news for the opposition in Poland and Hungary and for the rule of law in Europe in general.
During the summit, it was confirmed that Poland is the only EU country refusing to agree to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, though an earlier draft text had required the EU members to accept this target to receive climate funds for more sustainable economy. But the Polish Prime Minister used his veto threat to pressure others. The final decision was that Poland would still be able to get half of those funds without signing up to 2050 goal. Also in this case Morawiecki announced his victory: “We won better rules than what the European Commission proposed [with] the possibility of getting 50% immediately without committing to the climate target.”
Morawiecki forgets to mention that due to his threat the entire Just Transition Fund was significantly reduced. Poland could have gotten EUR 38 billion aimed at supporting coal-reliant countries´ transition to clean energy economies. Instead, it will get 50% of potential EUR 18 billion. Once again, Poland put its best food forward, reinforcing its image of the blocker of the ambitious European climate policy, forcing the entire Union to adopt a non-satisfactory agenda that will not contribute enough to combating the climate change.
P.S. A report published recently by McKinsey concluded that Poland could meet the 2050 decarburization target with a combination of wind and new nuclear power. But the PiS prefers symbolic protection of coal over modernizing the economy and joining a common fight for better climate and cleaner environment.
Deterioration of Democracy
A new report by the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs criticized the “continuing deterioration of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in Poland” under the PiS government.
The committee voted 52:15 in favor of the report calling on the other 26 EU member states to advance a rule of law procedure against Warsaw that, in theory, could lead to a suspension of Poland’s voting rights in the Union.
No Money for Homophobic Towns
The European Union has rejected grants under a twinning programme to six Polish cities because of their attitude to the LGBT community.
The announcement was confirmed on Twitter by the EU’s Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli. “EU values and fundamental rights must be respected by member states and public authorities,” Dalli wrote. The Polish authorities that adopted “LGBT-free zones” or “family rights” resolutions failed to protect those rights, she explained, and their funding applications had therefore been rejected. “The call for proposals for the twinning programme stipulates that it must be accessible to all European citizens without any form of discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation,” a Commission spokesman told to AFP.
The cities, towns and municipalities had applied for a grant between EUR 5.000 and EUR 25.000 under the twinning programme of the Europe for Citizens project, which aims to stimulate the debate and civic participation on EU policies. Applications for 127 cities and projects — eight Polish beneficiaries — were selected by the EU for a total grant value of more than EUR 2,3 million. Funding recipients include Polish cities such as Września (EUR 5.000), Sopot (EUR 7.500), Opole (EUR 12.000), Zator (EUR 10.000), Dzierzkowice (EUR 7.500) and a few others. Some of the towns were not awareded the grant for the first time ever and it came as a big surprise for them. Małgorzata Marszałek, mayor of Tuchów in southeast Poland, said that this means something much more than EUR 18.000 her town won’t get since it is about loss of reputation and image. Marszałek asked members of the city council to review their discriminatory resolution.
So far, supported by local PiS politicians and their allies, 4 voivodships (regions), 18 Polish counties and 16 municipalities passed resolutions denouncing “LGBT ideology” and declared themselves “LGBT-free zones”. In total, the zones cover a third of the country. The resolutions have no legal force, but they are a symbolic effort to discriminate LGBT people.
In some cases, the Polish Ombudsman, Adam Bodnar, was successful in convincing the Regional Administrative Courts (WSA) to rule against them. For example, on July 14th, a court ruled that a town of Istebna had exceeded its authority in establishing the “LGBT-free” zone, and in doing so it had violated Article 32 of Poland’s Constitution, which stipulates that “all persons shall be equal before the law” and “have the right to equal treatment by public authorities”. It violated the constitutional right that “no one shall be discriminated against in political, social or economic life for any reason whatsoever”. The “LGBT-free” zone has thus been annulled. “Ideology is always associated with people; the dictionary definition states that it is a system of ideas professed by individuals or groups of people,” one of the judges, Krzysztof Wujek, said in his justification.
Justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro has condemned the EU’s decision, saying that Poland will defend the rule of law. “We will not allow discrimination of Polish citizens and local governments by the European Union,” Ziobro said on Facebook. “There is a real risk that we may find ourselves in a situation where the EC (European Commission) will effectively force us to introduce the so-called homosexual marriages with the right to adopt children,” Ziobro said. “We cannot agree to this under any circumstances.”
The twinning programme is a very small one but the EC decision is symbolic and hopefully shows the new direction the EU leaders will take in protection of minority rights in Poland.
Mr. Ziobro and “Gender Gibberish”
Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro has vowed to submit a motion aimed at withdrawing Poland from the Istanbul Convention, the Council of Europe´s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. He said the Convention contains harmful, ideological elements. He also stressed that Poland is doing just fine with protection of women rights and prevention of domestic violence without the Convention. Ziobro’s deputy Marcin Romanowski added that Poland should drop out of the Istanbul Convention as soon as possible, calling the treaty “gender gibberish.”
The Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention is commonly recognized as the most advanced legally binding international instrument to prevent and combat gender-based violence, including marital rape. The Convention has not been signed only by Russia, while the United Kongdom, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Hungary, Bulgaria, Armenia and Moldova have yet to ratify it. It is obvious that the withdrawal of Poland from the Convention would represent a major setback for the respect for human rights in Poland, and in the EU in general.
PiS has long complained about the Istanbul Convention, which Poland signed under the government of the Civic Platform (PO) and the Polish People´s Party (PSL) in 2012 and ratified in 2015. Despite the general PiS’s hostile attitude towards the Convention, it does not seem that Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the PiS, wants to start now a war with women organizations. Deputy Minister of State Assets Artur Soboń from PiS, said that minister Ziobro “indeed had every right to make such claim”, but added the government had made no decision to withdraw from the convention. Also the Head of Prime Minister´s Office has denied that a final decision on withdrawal has been taken.
Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, condemned the announcement to withdraw from the convention. “Leaving the Istanbul convention would be highly regrettable and a major step backwards in the protection of women against violence in Europe,” Pejčinović Burić said in a statement. “If there are any misconceptions or misunderstandings about the convention, we are ready to clarify them in a constructive dialogue,” she stated.
Poland and Germany
“Does Germany Want to Elect the Polish President?”
The ministry of foreign affairs of Poland summoned Germany’s charge d’affaires in Warsaw to complain about the alleged inaccuracies and bias in German media coverage of Poland’s presidential election. Deputy minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk tweeted: “In connection with a sequence of articles in German media using manipulation and creating a clear impression of favouring one of the candidates… I today summoned the German charge d’affaires to the Foreign Ministry”.
The government reacted furiously to coverage in a German-owned Polish tabloid Fakt of a presidential pardon granted in a pedophilia case. This best-selling newspaper in Poland questioned Duda’s pledge to defend children as his pardon lifted a court ban on the convicted molester from contacts with his victims, his daughter and his wife. The family was economically destitute and living in the same house as the abuser. Duda’s decision has been considered as illegal and immoral by many human rights lawyers as it had legalized a situation incompatible with a judicial sentence. The case, in which the pardon was granted in March this year, was initially reported by the Rzeczpospolita, but the tabloid Fakt followed up with more details a few days later. “Mr President, how could you pardon someone like this?” the paper cover asked.
Jarosław Kaczyński and his allies have repeatedly bashed the foreign-owned media, accusing them of unfair coverage. And this time the PiS politicians suggested Germany may be seeking to meddle in the presidential election. Duda himself shouted during a rally: “This attack is slander, a dirty campaign. (…) I did it for this family.” He also added: “Does this company with German roots want to influence the Polish election? Does Germany want to elect the Polish president?”
PiS’s reaction should be understood in a broader context of other reports published in Germany. Die Welt, belonging to the same media group as Fakt, wrote that Rafał Trzaskowski would be a better choice than Andrzej Duda for Germany, because Trzaskowski was, among other things, against Poland’s demands for WWII compensations from Germany.
“The German government of course does not try to influence the Polish presidential election,” responded Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel. “And of course the German government does not influence the work of correspondents in Germany or abroad,” he added.
The PiS has long called for a “repolonisation” of media, which would reduce and restrict foreign ownership of Polish outlets. However, since 2015, it has not presented any legislation to that effect. It is commented that now, after Duda’s victory, it will be among the first key bills sponsored by the PiS in the Sejm.
Fifth Biggest Partner
Poland has overtaken Italy and become Germany’s fifth biggest trade partner, the Development Ministry said, adding that bilateral trade rose by 6,6% in the first two months of 2020, which brought the trade balance to PLN 21 billions (ca. EUR 4,7 billions).
Germany has been Poland’s biggest trade partner for the past twenty years. Exports to Germany accounted for 27,6% of Poland’s foreign sales in 2019 and the proportion of German goods and services in the country’s imports stood at 28,2%.
Bridging the Gap
A new rail crossing between Germany and Poland will be constructed. The bridge will span the river Oder between Küstrin and Kostyrzyn and is part of a wider upgrade under the Berlin-Kostrzyn-Gorzów railway modernization programme.
This 266m long bridge designed by Knight and Schüßler-Plan Berlin will replace a derelict, single-track truss built before the WWII. A second bridge will also be built across a flood-relief canal located 500m west of the main crossing.
New crossing should be ready by the end of 2022.
Pranksters at the Service of Russian Diplomacy
Andrzej Duda fell victim to a pair of Russian pranksters pretending to be the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Later they released a recording of a phone conversation with the newly reelected Polish president. Duda’s office confirmed that the recording was not a fake.
Duda talks for more than 10 minutes about the Covid-19 epidemic, the presidential election and the relations with Ukraine and Russia. Duda explained that Poland has the epidemic “under control,” and that it did not pose a risk to the campaign. The Polish president, answering questions about anti-LGBT tones of his party, said: “I don’t [discriminate against] them, really”. I have huge respect for every human being,” he added.
The newly re-elected president also rejected a provocative suggestion that Poland would seek to claim back the Ukrainian city of Lviv, which was part of Poland before WWII. “No! No! This is Ukraine,” he emphasized, adding that this is not a topic in Polish politics.
Duda also said: Tusk “doesn’t like me.” Tusk responded on Twitter: “I do like you, Mr. President. Especially for your openness.”
At various points of the call conducted in English, Duda sounded surprised at the line of questioning but still referred to the impostor as “Your Excellency”. Later he tweeted that he realized “something was not right” during the conversation. But he conceded that the “voice was very similar.”
The pranksters are known as Lexus and Vovan. Their real names are Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov. They have claimed a number of victims, including posing as then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in a call with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. They have also spoken with Elton John while pretending to be Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, and said they held a phone conversation with Boris Johnson, when he was a foreign secretary of the UK.
Polish national security agency is investigating how the prankster got through to the president and whether Russia’s secret services were involved. Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz believes that it was Russia’s misinformation act and that the questions asked were a decent confirmation of these intentions. The call had been authorized by an official with Poland’s mission to the United Nations in New York. And his actions were under investigation. Eventually this official was fired, but the question about how it is possible that the security agency did not prevent the call was not asked by anybody from the PiS majority. Maybe it’s because the agency is supervised by the super powerful Interior Minister from the PiS who was pardoned by Duda some years ago…
Global Multi-Energy Group
The European Commission has given the all clear to the Polish state-owned oil refiner and petrol retailer PKN Orlen to take a majority stake in another Polish refiner and retailer Lotos Group. The decision follows an in-depth investigation by the Commission of the merger, which was first agreed in 2018.
Orlen will however need to sell a 30% stake in the Lotos refinery, nine fuel storage depots, 389 retail stations in Poland, a 50% stake Lotos has in a jet fuel marketing joint venture with BP, and two bitumen production plants in Poland, the Commission said.
Orlen operates 2.679 petrol stations in Poland and across Central and Eastern Europe, Lotos just under 500 – all in Poland. In May, Orlen opened its first gas station in Slovakia under the Benzina brand, part of the Unipetrol Group owned by its Czech subsidiary.
Orlen under the PiS leadership has long believed that the merger would open up greater investment opportunities in asset development, foreign expansion and other areas, significantly strengthening the Polish economy. But the rules set by the Commission will make all these benefits questionable. It seems that one of the main consequences of such merger will be privatization of some of key assets in oil and gas industry in Poland. And privatization is something that PiS officially opposes the most. But the Orlen story shows that sometimes even privatization of the most sensitive parts of the economy can be fine for the PiS, as the political control over one huge company looks easier than control over some smaller ones. Once again, party politics defeated the economical interest.
The PiS wants to create a regional giant. Orlen has recently completed the purchase of the state-run utility Energa. With some 3 million customers, Energa, employing around 10.000 people, holds 17% of the domestic power market. It operates mainly in northern and central Poland. “Both, Energa and Orlen, need a strong multi-energy concern. Such concerns may implement Poland’s energy policies,” said Daniel Obajtek, the CEO of Orlen.
Orlen has also begun preparations of its eventual motion to European Union regulators for consolidation of Polish natural gas firm PGNiG. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the combined energy group could generate core profit of up to PLN 20 billion (ca. EUR 4,5 billion). “We are building a powerful global multi-energy group in Poland,” state assets minister Jacek Sasin said. But experts doubt economic reasons behind these plans and consider all of them as pure politics. The newly created company may be one of those that are too big to fall…
Orlen is 27,52% state-owned, while retirement funds Nationale-Nederlanden and Aviva Santander own 7,01% and 6,08% respectively. The remaining shareholders, who own less than 5% stake, account for 59,02% of the company’s shares.
The recently resumed production on Mission: Impossible 7 is working toward blowing up a real bridge in Poland. Some concerns were initially raised when the director Christopher McQuarrie posted a teaser of the location on his Instagram profile. But locals and the public opinion are very resistant.
The production of the seventh film in the series wanted to film at a bridge built in 1909 in the Polish village of Pilchowice. There are plans to blow up the bridge for an action sequence. But the residents have begun to voice their opposition and are calling to recognize the bridge as a national monument. The International Committee for the Conservation of Industrial Heritage, a body that collaborates with UNESCO, has now written to Prime Minister Morawiecki, asking him to intervene. Poland’s State Railways (PKP) posted on Twitter: “There are over 3.300 railway bridges [in Poland]. We do not blow up the bridges, we improve their condition – the historical ones are preserved!”.
Mission: Impossible producer Robert Golba has confirmed that he is in negotiations with Poland’s Ministry of Culture, but made no comment on what the bridge will be used for. Deputy Culture Minister Paweł Lewandowski argued that the bridge, decommissioned from public use in 2016 over its steady deterioration, had no cultural value and the production would help bring global attention to Poland. This sounded very disturbing for all admirers of this century old construction. But Golba tried to calm everybody down stressing that it is very likely that the bridge will be able to feature in the film and after shooting the currently unused bridge and railway line it will return to use, revitalized. “When we shot Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies in Wrocław we renovated several tenement houses, installed garbage bins and created two small parks,” he added.
Mission: Impossible 7 stars Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Henry Czerny, Esai Morales, Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff and Shea Whigham. It will be released on November 19th, 2021, while Mission: Impossible 8 will be released on November 4th, 2022.
ElectroMobility Poland, the Polish company tasked with designing and production of the country’s first electric car, presented the prototype. The electrocar, named Izera after a mountain range in southern Poland, will be manufactured from 2023. The producer presented two models, an SUV and a hatchback. It is reported that the new stock cars will receive a single “truck”, which will buy another brand. The company did not offer any details on the technical specifications of the car. The vehicle’s nominal range is expected to be 400 kilometers on a single charge. The car might be able to go from zero to 100 km/h in about eight seconds.
The prototype’s construction has cost PLN 30 million (ca. EUR 6,8 million). The cost of the launching production is expected at up to PLN 5 billion. The production will create ca. 3.500 jobs in the initial stages. However, there are no details on when the construction of the factory will start, nor where it will be located.
Electromobility Poland is owned by the state energy companies PGE, Tauron, Enea and Energa.
Polls & Trends
IBRiS for wp.pl, 24-25.07.202
1. Existing parties
Civic Coalition 26,5%
PSL- Polish Coalition 5,1%
2. Existing parties + Szymon Hołownia’s movement
Civic Coalition 25,6%
Hołownia’s Poland 2050 11,8%
PSL- Polish Coalition 2%
New Majority in the Sejm?
United Surveys for DGP and RMF FM
Should the PiS look for a new majority in the Sejm?
Yes, a more stable majority is needed 41,5%
No, the current majority is enough 42,2%
What party should join the PiS government coalition?
PSL- Polish Coalition 32,4%
Civic Coalition 7,6%
Hard to say 28,2%
Miłosz is an 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.