Country reports

POLAND

Expert authors: Anna Karpsinka and Dorota Ilczuk
Last update: April 1st

On March 12th, an epidemic emergency state was introduced in Poland, which resulted in the closure of cinemas, theatres, cancellation of all shows and banning gatherings of over 50 people. On March 20th, the state intensified restrictions by prohibiting to move in groups of more than 2 people (except families), and restricting gatherings to no more than 5 people.

Artists found themselves in a crisis situation. Therefore, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage launched a social assistance package from the Culture Promotion Fund. Artists who have documentation certifying the inability to perform work, e.g. due to the closing of the theater, may apply.

Due to the closure of cultural institutions, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage has prepared two new grant programmes:

  1. Artistic creativity on the Internet – subsidies for the development of digital forms of artistic creativity;
  2. An additional programme compensating losses in culture caused by the epidemic (launched after loosening the rigors of the epidemic status);

There were also changes in the Cinematography Act allowing film premieres on VOD platforms and on the Internet. Changes were also made in the Act on Audiovisual Incentives extending the deadlines and simplifying the procedures for submitting applications for financial support of audiovisual productions.

Solutions for non-governmental organisations were also introduced, making the implementation and settlement of projects more flexible.

For micro-companies (including artists running their own businesses), a package of solutions was prepared under the so-called ‘anti-crisis shield’, including exemption from social security charges. Parking benefits were prepared for contracts workers as well as for self-employed persons. This benefit is paid to those whose earnings have decreased due to the epidemic. It amounts to PLN 2.000 (about EUR 438).