From Poland With Love – September

Topic of the Month

Minks that Almost Stopped Polish Government

Who could have thought that it would not be the rule of law, free media, or LGBT issues but animal rights that have almost exploded the PiS government. In September, for the first time since 2015, Jarosław Kaczyński could have lost majority in the parliament. For the first time, there was a threat of a minority government. According to many commentators, real politics was finally back in the Sejm. But what really happened?

A group of PiS MPs presented an animal rights bill, known as “Five for Animals” (because it has five main objectives). The bill was announced after an undercover footage from the biggest fur farm in Poland was released, which according to activists appeared to show “cannibalism, aggression, self-aggression, open wounds and paralysis of minks’ limbs”. The bill sought to ban breeding animals for fur in just one year following the law’s entry into force. It would also stop exports of halal and kosher meat.

Minks are by far the biggest group of animals on Polish fur farms. There are more than six million minks on farms countrywide. Poland is the world’s third biggest fur producer after China and Denmark, and a major exporter of kosher meat to Israel and Jewish communities in Europe as well as halal meat to Turkey, the Middle East and Muslim communities in the West. Poland’s National Council of Agricultural Chambers said that religion-compliant beef alone is worth EUR 1,5 billion to the country’s economy, accounting for 5% of exports of food products. Meanwhile, 40% of poultry exports are of halal and kosher meat.

The bill was passionately supported by the PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński known for his affection for cats and other animals. “Poland’s standards regarding animals should be no worse, or even better, than those in western countries”, he said. Kaczyński launched the online #stopfurchallenge for people on social media to express their support for the amendment. It was supported by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, many NGOs, even Olga Tokarczuk, Polish Nobel Prize winner.

Fur farm owners, however, are angry and accuse the PiS government of conspiring to kill the entire industry on which thousands of livelihoods depend. “You betrayed us, rural Poland – your voters!”, many of them yell at protests online and on the streets of Warsaw. Even many MPs in the PiS camp say that the bill would affect the entire rural Poland and they do not want to alienate their core electorate (rural voters are the key to PiS’s electoral successes). This fear and disagreement was used by PiS’s smaller coalition partners, the Solidarity Poland and the Alliance.

Especially the former protested very loudly against the bill. Solidarity Poland and its leader, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, have already been trying for some months to differentiate themselves from PiS becoming the most radical right wing of the coalition. Ziobro wants to compete with the far right Confederation party with radical ideological views mixed with support for the free market.

In the Sejm, the bill “Five for Animals” was approved with big support from the opposition site (the Left and Civic Coalition). Solidarity Poland was against and the Alliance abstained from the vote. The Minister of Agriculture also voted against, and immediately after the voting, he left the PiS as well as the ministry. Kaczyński decided to suspend 14 other PiS members who voted against the bill and punish both coalition partners. Some top PiS politicians declared in media that the coalition does not exist any longer. “Early elections are possible,” they added.

For the first time, Jarosław Kaczyński felt that he is losing control over the majority in the parliament, that he is not the unquestionable leader on the right any longer. Clearly, the entire situation was a part of the big game on Kaczyński’s successor. Kaczyński’s favorite, Mateusz Morawiecki, showed during the crisis that he is not able to control the parliamentary majority. Not even within PiS, both in the parliament and in the regions, did he manage to build a significant and stable group of supporters. On the other hand, his main competitor Zbigniew Ziobro is seen by Kaczyński as an enemy and his position might be limited by PiS’s leadership.

The coalition survived. Three parties signed a new coalition agreement. They gave no details about the agreement and took no questions from journalists, leaving lingering uncertainty about how the cabinet will work in practice. Later it was announced that each of the junior partners would keep only one ministry and Jarosław Kaczyński would come back to the government as deputy PM. He will have supervision authority over the defense, justice and interior ministries. In other words, he will directly supervise Zbigniew Ziobro, who is seen as a loser of the entire situation. But also Morawiecki lost, because Kaczyński will be now the strongest figure in the government, scrutinizing his work.  “I am convinced the government with the new people … will be even better equipped than before to deal with all challenges that await us, both in the internal arena as well as on the global and European arena”, Morawiecki told a news conference.

But what will be with the animals? The bill is in now in the Senate. The higher chamber is controlled by the opposition but the block is not homogeneous in this case, as PSL, the traditional farmers’ party, is against the new animal law amendment. PSL leader Władysław Kosiniak Kamysz is trying to rebuild his position after devastating presidential elections (he got only 2,4% of the vote) and supports protesting farmers. The farmers meet frequently in front of the parliament with banners reading “Leave our jobs alone”, “Who wants to butcher Polish agriculture?”. President of the Polish Association of Beef Cattle Breeders and Producers, hailed the demonstration as a “historic moment”. He claimed that, if the bill is passed, over 350.000 farms will lose 30% of their income.

The Senate will vote in October.

Politics

Who Will Protect Human Rights in Poland?

Poland’s Ombudsman, Dr. Adam Bodnar, was supposed to end his five-year term on September 9. For five years, he has always been where he should have been, always standing with people and protecting human rights. He has been very vocal when the government was attacking minority groups and was quickly labeled by PiS as its top enemy. During his final speech in the Senate he said: “Poland in 2020 is a completely different country than it was in 2015.” “Poland is no longer a constitutional democracy”, but a state of “electoral authoritarianism” and a “hybrid democracy”.

In his opinion, today’s Poland can be labeled as “competitive authoritarianism”, which scholars Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way present in their book published in 2010 by Cambridge University Press. “Usually in these systems, the opposition exists and may operate in a more or less regular fashion – you have NGOs, different state institutions, even a proper constitution – but everything works in a way that puts the opposition at a disadvantage,” Bodnar explained in an interview for Reporting Democracy. “It’s as if incumbents and the opposition are playing a game of football on an uneven playing field, with one team having the full set of 11 players while the other has just eight all the time.”

The parliament was supposed to choose a new Ombudsman in September. The only candidacy submitted by the deadline was the one of Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz. She is a lawyer specializing in human rights, who has been working for the Ombudsman’s Office for five years, currently in charge of strategic litigation. She was supported by ca. one thousand NGOs and formally nominated by the Civic Coalition and the Left. PiS did not nominate anyone.

PiS majority in the Sejm’s justice committee gave Rudzińska-Bluszcz a negative recommendation. MP Jan Kanthak (Solidarity Poland), appointed to be the rapporteur in this case, entered and immediately left the room. He did not even listen to Rudzińska-Bluszcz’s speech. Nowoczesna MP Katarzyna Lubnauer said: “They had made their decision before Rudzińska-Bluszcz had started to speak” and criticized PiS’s reluctance to cooperate. The opposition believes that PiS wants to reject Rudzińska-Bluszcz, then set a new deadline for other candidates to get a chance to present their own candidate, followed by a new vote. It is also rumored that PiS may change the law that regulates the election of the Ombudsman introducing a new position of “acting Ombudsman” elected solely by the Sejm, as Ombudsman’s election requires support of both chambers of the parliament and the Senate is controlled by the opposition.

Read the Reporting Democracy: https://balkaninsight.com/2020/09/17/laboratory-of-democracy/

Gross Violation of the Law

According to the Warsaw administrative court, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki committed a “gross violation of the law” and the Constitution when ordering preparations for presidential elections scheduled for May 2020. “The manner of [conducting] elections cannot be restricted by any actions of the executive branch,” one of the judges wrote. “[Poland] cannot be considered a state of law if [state] organs infringe the provisions of the law”. The court also declared that the decision to hold a postal-only vote meant that “voters were not guaranteed an equal, direct and secret ballot”.

PiS was determined to hold the elections in May, during the first wave of the epidemic. Although the special election act on mail-in elections was not adopted by the Senate, Morawiecki issued instructions for the Polish Post to organize the voting (read more in the May issue of the Newsletter). This decision was criticized as illegal by many legal experts and the opposition. Also the deputy PM Jarosław Gowin showed his disagreement with holding the postal elections. Many mayors refused to comply with the Prime Minister’s order to hand voters’ data to the post. The Ombudsman Adam Bodnar launched a legal challenge against the Prime Minister.

The government’s spokesman Piotr Müller declared the ruling “surprising” and said he believed that the “decision taken by Prime Minister Morawiecki regarding the elections was made in accordance with the law”. “After acquainting ourselves with the justification for the judgement, we will consider an appeal”, he added.

“Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is fully responsible for the illegal activities of the Polish Post, we expect the immediate resignation of the head of the government”, Civic Platform´s Chairman Borys Budka said. “It is not only a matter of honor, but it is a matter of obvious, elementary decency. Mateusz Morawiecki bears political and legal responsibility”, he added.

Education Funeral

There is one member of the newly composed Morawiecki´s government who arouses public interest much more than anybody else. It is the new Minister of Education and Science Przemysław Czarnek, an ultra-conservative open-homophobe.

In June, Czarnek said in a live TV broadcast: “Let us defend the family against this kind of corruption, depravity, absolutely immoral behaviour, let us defend us against the LGBT+ ideology and finish listening to this idiocy about human rights or equality”. “These people are not equal to normal people, let’s end this discussion”, he continued. Previously he compared being queer to being a Nazi: “There’s no doubt, that LGBT+ ideology grew out of… the same root as Germany’s Hitlerian National Socialism, which was responsible for all the evil of the World War II.”

Czarnek also criticizes feminism by saying that it’s been “taking its tragic toll”. “In order to attack family, you have to attack the woman first, as women are absolutely irreplaceable in families,” he said. “And how to attack family, the woman? Tell her: you don’t need this, you’re the same as any man, go and work, drive a tractor, a harvester, pursue a career. Career first, and maybe later children,” he concluded.

He is determined to instill conservative values in Polish children. Students from all over Poland protest against his appointment. One of the most visible nation-wide protest actions called “Education Funeral” was initiated by the youth branch of Nowoczesna, Polish liberal party. Young liberals organized press conferences in multiple towns and cities in all Poland´s regions and encouraged mostly high school students, to wear black cloths as manifestation of their disagreement of what PiS has been doing with the education system.

New Opposition Leader in the Sejm

Cezary Tomczyk became the head of the Civic Coalition group in the parliament. He obtained 115 votes of support, winning the rivalry with Urszula Augustyn, who received 56 votes. Tomczyk, 36, is a fourth-term MP. In the past, he was the government´s spokesman for the former Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz, and recently Rafał Trzaskowski’s Chief of Staff. The fact that he was supported by both the party leader and the increasingly influential mayor of Warsaw sealed his victory.

According to unofficial information from the Polish Press Agency, Tomczyk’s candidacy was also supported by MPs from the coalition groups of the PO: Nowoczesna, the Greens and the Polish Initiative. Augustyn was a candidate endorsed by a former PO leader Grzegorz Schetyna who is trying to challenge his successor, Borys Budka. Until now Budka was both chairman of the party and the parliamentary group leader but after the opposition voting on salary increases for politicians (read more in the previous issue of the Newsletter), he was forced by other MPs to resign from his role in the group.

Trans-Gender Pills

Polish Ombudsman for Children Mikołaj Pawlak accused NGOs specializing in sex education at schools, especially in the city of Poznań, of “targeting unstable, abandoned children, and giving them pharmacological substances to change their sex”. “And this is without the knowledge of parents and doctors,” Pawlak said in an interview for the TVN24 channel.

Poznań’s mayor has denied those allegations and the opposition parties have demanded Pawlak’s immediate resignation. Acting education superintendent for the Wielkopolska region said he had received no signals that would confirm the ombudsman’s allegations. “The District Prosecutor’s Office in Poznań received no reports regarding sex educators allegedly offering children sex-hormones or any other pills during school classes,” the prosecutor’s office announced.

Pawlak, who is connected to the ultra-conservative Ordo Iuris association, is known for his very controversial views, especially for dubbing IVF an “unworthy” method of procreation, for defending corporal punishment by parents and conversion therapies.

Poland’s Ivanka

Kinga Duda, daughter of the President Andrzej Duda, has been appointed a social advisor to the President of Poland. Asked about her responsibilities, the President replied: “She’s an advisor in her field of specialization. As a lawyer, arbitration specialist, and Polish-American relations expert, she’s very skillful”. Kinga Duda is 25 years old. In 2019, she completed law studies at the Jagiellonian University. She also received a post-graduate degree in American law at the CUA Columbus School of Law in Washington.

Critics from the opposition refer to Kinga Duda as “Poland’s Ivanka Trump”.

Kinga Duda is the youngest of the thirteen social advisers listed at the website of the President’s Chancellery. The president also has seven fully employed advisers.

Europe

Kaczyński and Orban’s Rule of Law Institute

Polish and Hungarian governments announced a plan to create jointly a new “rule of law institute”. This new unit is supposed to assess how the rule of law is being upheld across the EU.

Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó declared at a joint press conference with his Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau that “the aim of this institute of comparative law would be that we should not be taken for fools”. The ministers argued Poland and Hungary must ensure their countries are not treated unfairly under what they describe as Brussels’ “double standards”. Szijjártó added he had “had enough of some Western European politicians using us as a punchbag”. The new body will promote “debate and transparency”, Rau added.

Recently the conflict over the rule of law between the Warsaw-Budapest axis and Brussels, supported by some other capitals, escalated. Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga even demanded the European Commission Vice President and EU Values Commissioner Věra Jourová to resign after she suggested that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was building an “ill democracy”.

The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte recently asked in the Dutch parliament: “Can you found an EU without Hungary and Poland?”. What is more, Germany’s Europe minister, Michael Roth, also pledged that ongoing EU rule-of-law proceedings against Poland and Hungary would continue, as neither country had made sufficient improvements.

Also the European Commission itself continued its criticism of Hungary and Poland and launched a first-ever report on the democratic standards in the EU. It covered all 27 states but slammed mostly Poland and Hungary. Nevertheless, it must be noted that it also voiced concerns about the level of corruption and independence of judiciary in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Romania and Slovakia. “It is relevant to have an overview of these issues, and see the links between them,” Věra Jourová explained. “Not least because deficiencies often merge into an undrinkable cocktail, even if the individual ingredients seem to be fine.”

“Poland’s justice reforms since 2015 have been a major source of controversy,” can be read in the document. The report says “the double role where the minister of justice is also the prosecutor general has raised particular concerns, as it increases the vulnerability to political influence.” The report also characterized judicial independence in Hungary as “a source of concern.”

Foreign Affairs

Marshal Plan for Belarus

In mid-September Aleksander Lukashenko announced he would close borders with Poland and Lithuania. “We are forced to withdraw troops from the streets, put the army on high alert and close the state border on the west, primarily with Lithuania and Poland”, Lukashenko said at a women’s forum.

“I don’t want my country to be at war. Moreover, I don’t want Belarus and Poland, Lithuania to turn into a theater of military operations where our issues will not be resolved,” the Belarusian usurper said. “Therefore, today in front of this hall of the most beautiful, advanced, patriotic people I want to appeal to the peoples of Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine — stop your crazy politicians, don’t let war break out!”

Poland keeps on being one of the leading countries pushing the EU to take action against the regime in Belarus. “Belarusians have not only broken through their own fear, but they have shown the whole of Europe that they want to belong to a Europe of free, democratic, nations under the rule of law,” Mateusz Morawiecki said. Poland will continue to support Belarusian society in its pursuit of the full use of fundamental freedoms and its determination to live in a democratic country, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Zbigniew Rau said during the UN Human Rights Council’s debate. What is more, Morawiecki also announced that he would propose a “Marshall Plan for Belarus” at the next EU Council sitting. “The fund should really be significant… so at least a billion euros at this stage,” he said at a joint press conference with his Lithuanian counterpart in Vilnius.

Svetlana Tikhanovska visited Warsaw. Together with Mateusz Morawiecki she opened a new Belarusian House in a villa in Warsaw donated by the Polish government to the local diaspora. Later she went to the Economic Forum in Karpacz. Her visit was organized on the spur of the moment. The Polish government suggested that Tikhanovska could join a V4 summit in Lublin. However, such a proposal was too spontaneous for the Czech PM Andrej Babiš who vetoed this last minute idea.

Veronika Tsepkalo, one of three women who joined forces in the presidential election against Lukashenko, and activist Olga Kovalkova, have found exile in Poland.

The presidents of Poland, Lithuania and Romania have signed an open letter reiterating their support for the “people of Belarus in building a democratic path, via democratically elected state leadership, a free civil society, market economy and the rule of law”. The three presidents stressed the significance of “recognizing the results of elections as legitimate only if carried out in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and subject to international election observation”. They will also support a “visa-free regime when the necessary conditions are in place” and called for “assistance in the diversification of the energy sector and Belarus’ energy security”.

On the Wrong Side of the History

Some 50 ambassadors to Poland have expressed their support for LGBT+ people in the country in an open letter, citing a need to work for “non-discrimination, tolerance and mutual acceptance.” The letter was co-ordinated by Belgium’s embassy in Warsaw.

The PiS government was advised “to protect all citizens from violence and discrimination and to ensure they enjoy equal opportunities”. “To shield communities in need of protection from verbal and physical abuse and hate speech, we need to jointly work on an environment of non-discrimination, tolerance and mutual acceptance”, the letter reads.

US Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher tweeted about the letter: “Human Rights are not an ideology – they are universal. 50 Ambassadors and representatives agree”. Later, she defended the letter in an interview with the wp.pl web site. “Human rights are not an ideology,” Mosbacher said referring to the PiS’s campaign saying that LGBT is ideology not people. “They [human rights] are universal. You must know that in terms of LGBT+ rights you are on the wrong side of history”. “I know that this is not entirely fair, but through such ‘symbols’ Poland has acquired the image of a state that does not respect people of different sexual orientation”.

Mosbacher has been fiercely criticized by PiS politicians and right-wing media. She has been called the worst US ambassador to Poland ever.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden condemned Poland’s so-called LGBT-free zones, saying that they “have no place in the European Union or anywhere in the world.”

Society

Voluntarily to Prison

The director of the Auschwitz Memorial, Dr. Piotr Cywiński, has offered to serve part of the 10-year jail sentence given to a 13-year-old Nigerian boy for blasphemy. He personally asked the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to pardon the boy and offer on behalf of 119 volunteers from all over the world that they would each serve a month in prison. “He should not be subjected to the loss of the entirety of his youth, be deprived of opportunities and stigmatized physically, emotionally and educationally for the rest of his life,” Cywiński wrote in a letter. “I cannot remain indifferent to this disgraceful sentence for humanity,” he added.

The boy was convicted by an Islamic court of making uncomplimentary remarks about the God during an argument with a friend in Kano state in August. The case has been criticized by many human rights groups, including the United Nations, according to which the judgment violates international agreements on child welfare.

Society

Szpilman’s Piano

A 1937 Steinway grand piano which belonged to the famous Polish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman has been sold for PLN 1,3 million (ca. EUR 0,3 million) at an auction in Warsaw. That sum was five times higher than the initial asking price. Szpilman’s pen and watch, which he kept on him through his time in the Warsaw Ghetto, have also been sold. The watch was set at PLN 10-14 thousand, and yet the hammer price turned out to reach as much as PLN 75.000. The silver Omega watch from 1934 went for nearly PLN 250.000, with starting price at 10-16 thousand.

The auction was organized by Szpilman’s two sons, who want to use the proceeds for the worldwide promotion of their father’s musical legacy. The oldest Polish auction house DESA Unicum announced the whole turnover amounting to over PLN 2,5 million.

Władysław Szpilman was one of the most famous Polish composers. During the WWII he avoided capture by the Nazis. In the final months of the war, he found shelter in the ruins of Warsaw and survived thanks to help from his Polish friends and a German Army officer, what is known to the wider public from Roman Polański’s movie “The Pianist”. After the war, he served as a director of the Polish Radio’s music department for 18 years. He died in 2000 at the age of 88.

Pionier 1907

Residents of the city of Szczecin are fighting to save one of the world’s oldest functioning cinemas after ticket sales stopped during the Covid19 crisis. According to Gazeta Wyborcza, to stay afloat, the cinema needs to sell 130 tickets per day, but currently it is only managing to sell around 30 daily.

The “Pionier 1907” is an arthouse, which describes itself as an “ambitious cinema for people who see film as more than just entertainment”. It has been officially operating since 1909, though there are sources showing that it was opened already in 1907, when the city was part of the Germany and known as Stettin. In 2005, it was certified by the Guinness World Records as the oldest operating cinema in the world.

After restoration in 2002, the cinema now has two projection rooms: a main “historical” room which currently fits 82 viewers, and a smaller “Kiniarnia” which combines a smaller screen with a cafe. Screenings of silent films are often accompanied by live piano music. Wspieram.to, a large Polish crowdfunding site with HQ in Szczecin, has announced a campaign to save this cultural heritage site. Some locals decided to help and volunteer at the cinema, many bought tickets for future screenings.

“Pionier 1907” is not the only cinema in Poland that struggles these days. Corona-crisis and sunny summer prevented people from going to the movies. According to the Polish Film Institute (PISF), in July over 530.000 viewers attended cinema screenings, compared with over 4,8 million in the same month last year – an 89% drop.

Poland and Germany

Rainbow Oder

On September 5th, ca. 2.000 demonstrators stood up to homophobia with a protest held jointly by activists in the border towns of Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany, and Słubice, Poland.  The towns are separated by a bridge across the River Oder. Police lined the streets leading to the bridge in expectation of possible violence, but only a handful of counter-protesters turned up on the Polish side of the border holding anti-LGBT banners.

Tighter Economic Bonds

According to the Polish Economic Institute (PIE), Poland became the second biggest EU supplier of goods to Germany and the fourth in the world. PIE noted that in July, Poland’s share in German exports was about 0,6 p.p. higher than in the previous year and amounted to 5,3%. Poland also developed its position as an importer from Germany. Poland’s share in this segment rose by 0,8% to 5,8% in comparison with the previous year.

The increase in German exports results from the growing global demand for three product groups: motor vehicles and automotive parts, machinery and mechanical devices, as well as electrical appliances and their components.

Economy

V4-Air

The governments of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia are discussing the possibility of creating a single airline to serve Central Europe. The idea of a major aviation player is modeled on the Air France – KLM merger. The new V4 airline would base itself in Prague, Budapest, and Warsaw, but it would also include Bratislava which has the potential to attract passengers that currently use nearby Vienna Airport. Polish LOT is seen as a base for such a new airline.

LOT may soon create a major hub at Václav Havel Airport in Prague. The hub would include long-haul routes and follow LOT’s established practice of developing hubs outside of its home country, like in Budapest, actively competing against Wizz Air and Ryanair in the region. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Transport Minister Karel Havlíček have expressed support for the project.

From Brown to Green?

A large open pit brown coal mine near Brudzew will be transformed into the Poland’s largest solar farm. The facility will span an area of 100 hectares. It is expected to be the largest farm of this kind in Poland, producing 70 MWp of power, 18,5 times more than the current largest plant in Czernikowo.

A consortium of Zespół Elektrowni Pątnów-Adamów-Konin (ZE PAK), the largest brown coal power generator in Poland, and ESOLEO, a provider of photovoltaic installations, believes this PLN 160 million (ca. EUR 35 million) deal will create alternative employment for those who until recently worked in the local coal mines. It should also become a symbol of Polish green transformation.

This year Poland has become the fifth largest solar producer in Europe, almost quadrupling its capacity in one year.

Less Economically Free

Poland obtained 7,04 points out of 10 possible, which gave it 77th place among 162 countries in the world classified according to the level of Economic Freedom, according to this year’s ‘Economic Freedom of the World’ report, made available by the Adam Smith Center (CAS). A year earlier, Poland scored 7,31 points, ranking 59th.

“The decline in our economic freedom was primarily due to a lower quality of money and banking system, and a lower quality of the legal system and protection of private property. For some observers, the recorded decline in economic freedom in the sphere of money may seem exaggerated or even unjustified. Indeed, it is partly due to an imperfect way of measuring one of the index variables. However, even if there was no decline in this area, and our economy obtained the maximum possible score of 10.0, the total index of economic freedom for Poland would drop to the level of 7.29, which would give us 63 position in the world”, Andrzej Kondratowicz, the expert of CAS, noted.

The index calculates performance in a series of fields: size of the state, justice and ownership rights, access to strong currency, freedom in international trade, and the regulatory context in bank credit, labor and entrepreneurship.

Polls & Trends

Party Support

IBRiS for wp.pl, 2.10.2020

PiS                                                      41,6%

Civic Coalition                                 22,1%

Hołownia’s Poland 2050              11,2%

Confederation                                 7,5%

Left                                                    7,2%

Are you going to take vaccine against Covid19 once it’s available?

IBRiS for Economic Forum

 YESNO
POLAND39%48%
GERMANY50%28%
FRANCE46%31%
ITALY54%21%

Julia vs. Zuzanna

The Ministry of Digital Affairs has released the latest report on the most popular names for babies in the first half of 2020. Julia was the most popular name given to baby girls in the first half of 2020. The previous leader – Zuzanna – dropped to second place. There was no change in the top four of the boys´ list – Antoni remains number one, ahead of Jan and Jakub.

Top 10 girl names of the first half of 2020

In brackets, there are names that held the position in 2019.

1. Julia – 3649 girls (Zuzanna)

2. Zuzanna – 3639 (Julia)

3. Zofia – 3588 (Zofia)

4. Hanna – 3364 (Maja)

5. Maja – 3244 (Hanna)

6. Lena – 2633 (Lena)

7. Alicja – 2564 (Alicja)

8. Oliwia – 2395 (Maria)

9. Maria – 2372 (Oliwia)

10. Laura – 2049 (Amelia)

Top 10 boy names of the first half of 2020

1. Antoni – 4037 (Antoni)

2. Jan – 3823 (Jan)

3. Jakub – 3614 (Jakub)

4. Aleksander – 3541 (Aleksander)

5. Franciszek – 3499 (Szymon)

6. Szymon – 3107 (Franciszek)

7. Filip – 2744 (Filip)

8. Mikołaj – 2587 (Mikołaj)

9. Stanisław – 2522 (Wojciech)

10. Wojciech – 2416 (Adam)

Miłosz Hodun

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.