2. Current cultural affairs
Last update: December, 2020
In 2007, Polish government was formed by the neoliberal and pro-EU coalition of two political parties, Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska) and Polish People’s Party (Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe), who stayed in power until 2015. A noticeable result of this eight-year period was a substantial development of cultural infrastructure, in many cases with support of EU’s funding (e.g. the construction of a new building for the Karlowicz Philharmonic in Szczecin). The priorities were put on investments, cultural education and broadening access to cultural offer (including readership development and the support for digitalisation programmes). The topic of the socio-economic importance of culture and its industries was widely discussed in the public debate regarding cultural policies. At the same time, the government was reluctant to address several social issues, i.e. alarming financial and professional situation of artists (the first artists’ strike under the slogan ‘A day without art’ was organised in 2012).
Since 2015, the majority in the lower house of the Polish bicameral parliament is held by the right-wing informal alliance “The United Right” (Zjednoczona Prawica), led by the political party Justice and Law (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość). Piotr Gliński, who also holds a position of a Deputy Prime Minister, had been appointed as the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. Since October 6th, 2020, after the reconstruction of the government, Gliński is the Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sport. The priority framework for Polish cultural policies has been set to foster historically-oriented policies, including the preservation of monuments and the promotion of Polish history and identity (e.g. the launch of a long-term programme for the 100th anniversary of independence, among others). At the same time, the scope of the state’s intervention in the field of culture was extended, covering cultural industries such as video games, design and architecture.
An important step for the Polish cultural landscape was taken in 2018, when the National Conference for Culture organised a series of debates in many Polish cities, inviting representatives of all cultural fields to take part in discussions. These debates had been widely dominated by defining the concept of a “status of a professional artist”. As a result, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage has undertaken a task to create systemic support for professional artists. The project has been publicly consulted and the final bill shall come into force in the beginning of 2021.
During the public debate, some representatives of the cultural sector accused the Minister of Culture of the interference in the internal affairs of public institutions, such as recruitment decisions and programming (conflicts arose surrounding such institutions as the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk or the Polish Film Institute). Another strong criticism concerned the politicisation of the news broadcasted by public television.
The year 2020 has been dominated by the difficult situation of cultural industries and artists, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage has prepared a multistage programme to support culture. So far, PLN 20 million has been distributed among artists and creators in form of social support. The entire budget for counter-measuring the negative economic effects of the pandemic on cultural industries has been estimated at PLN 6 billion. Currently, there is an ongoing process of evaluation of applications for the Culture Support Fund – the programme with a budget of PLN 400 million (EUR 89 000 000) aiming to cover remunerations of employees of cultural organisations. The government has also launched a new programme to support small movie theatres, film producers and distributors, whose initial budget does not exceed PLN 157 million (EUR 35 million).
In the face of the entirely new reality, such countermeasures were mostly implemented intuitively. Keeping that in mind, extensive research projects regarding the aftermath of the pandemic and its effects on cultural industries deserve a positive recognition. One of such projects, which include both qualitative and quantitative research methods, has been initiated by the Raszewski Theatre Institute in Warsaw and inquires the situation of Polish theatres during the pandemic (the Creative Economy Research Centre of University SWPS participates in the research project, conducting an analysis of the theatre artists’ financial and professional situation). The results of the project are expected to provide an objective overview of the situation of the whole theatre sector, estimate loss, articulate needs and create further a strategy.
Last update: December, 2020
The article 6 of the Polish Constitution imposes an obligation on the State to provide all Polish citizens with equal access to cultural goods, as well as to provide its citizens abroad with help to maintain their relations with national cultural heritage. Furthermore, the article 73 of the Constitution guarantees Polish citizens the right to freedom of artistic expression, to conduct scientific research and publish its results, freedom of education and freedom to use cultural goods. The Constitution also guarantees freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.
In recent years, there were several cases in which these rights have been challenged. In 2017, Teatr Powszechny premiered a spectacle “The Curse”, which sparked a controversy for allegedly showing religious symbolism in a negative context. In April 2019, an artist in Poland has been accused of profanation of a religious image by creating a poster of the Virgin Mary with a rainbow halo in support of the LGBTQ+ rights. These cases triggered a public debate regarding the balance between the freedom of artistic expression and blasphemy.
More recently, in May 2020, during the live broadcast of the Eurovision contest, the public television broadcaster replaced fragments of a transgender presenter with commercials. Such actions have been criticized as an attempt to censor the content. The broadcaster denied any allegations, stating that the timing of commercials only coincidently corresponded with this particular presenter’s airtime.
There are several bodies involved in the protection of the freedom of artistic expression and more broadly the right to freedom of speech. The main one responsible for monitoring, diagnosing and preventing the abuse of these rights is the Polish Ombudsman – an independent central office of the Republic of Poland. The office is elected for the term of five years by an act of Sejm and accepted by the Senate. The ombudsman can serve up to two terms. Others include non-governmental organisations, such as the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Amnesty International Poland, Stefan Batory Foundation or Press Freedom Monitoring Center.
The right to equal access to cultural goods in many cases is being exercised by local governments. According to Polish law, local authorities are obliged to organise and manage cultural activities in the form of creation of public cultural institutions, such as libraries and cultural centres.
The right to protect the intellectual and material benefits accruing from scientific, literary and artistic production is guaranteed by the Act of 4 February 1994 on copyright and related rights. The excise of these rights are entrusted to the collective management organisations, which in turn are regulated by the Act of 15 June 2018 on collective management of copyright and related rights. According to the information provided by the central government, currently there are 12 collective management organisations in Poland authorized by the Minister of Culture:
- KOPIPOL (creators of scientific and technical works)
- REPROPOL (press publishers)
- SAiW Copyright Polska (book publishers)
- SAWP (performers)
- SFP (filmmakers and audiovisual producers)
- STL (folklore creators)
- STOART (performers)
- ZAiKS (authors)
- ZASP (theater artists)
- ZPAF (photographers)
- ZPAP (visual artists)
- ZPAV (music and audiovisual producers)
Last update: December, 2020
A team led by prof. Dorota Ilczuk has been studying the situation of artists in Poland for many years. These studies were aimed at diagnosing the specificity of the artists' labor market, analysing the professional situation of artists in Poland, exploring international experiences both in monitoring and analysing this area, and various forms of support provided to artists. It also was the first successful attempt in the history of post-war Poland to estimate the number of professionally active artists in Poland. Without knowing the size of the artistic milieu, it was impossible to calculate the costs of the planned support system for artists, and thus to introduce systemic changes in the cultural policy in Poland.
The social and professional situation of artists, authors and creators in Poland is very unstable. This state of affairs has been ignored in the public debate for many years, despite the artistic community’s attempt to draw attention to it (with for example the artists' protest ‘A Day Without Art’ in 2012). In 2017, at the National Conference for Culture (OKK), the debate about artist’s support began. The OKK Group of Experts was formed and they started to work on an Act on the Rights of the Professional Artist. The project aims to:
• defines professional artists and their rights, enabling the precise adaptation of tools for the needs of this professional and social group;
• regulates the procedures for confirming and updating the rights of a professional artist on the basis of artistic education or achievements confirmed by representative organisations of artistic milieu, as well as revenues from artistic activity;
• defines the rules of access of professional artists with entitlements to the social and health insurance system (each artist pays contributions at the level of those corresponding to the minimum wage);
• creates a dedicated fund to support social and health insurance contributions for the lowest-earning persons with the status of an artist (subsidies from 20% to 80% of the amount of contributions);
• identifies the sources of financing for the above-mentioned fund (the main source are extra-budgetary funds from the so-called reprographic fee, a state budget guarantee);
• creates a mechanism for the artist's card enabling the creation of packages, amenities, discounts and offers addressed to this social group;
• creates the Polish Chamber of Artists as a state legal entity, the Council of which will be composed of representatives of artists’ organisations, the Ministries of Culture and Labor and the Social Insurance Institution.
The creation of a new bill would not be possible without the research carried out by the team of the Creative Economy Research Centre, under the supervision of prof. Dorota Ilczuk. As stated above, the team faced the difficult task of estimating the size of the artistic milieu in Poland. There are 59 970 people working in the following industries: music, architecture, visual arts, theatre, film, literature, dance, folk art, and interdisciplinary arts.
Last update: December, 2020
According to the Report on Digitisation of Polish Cultural Resources (prepared for the Congress of Polish Culture 2009), the digital resources of state archives are calculated at approximately 3 million scans; libraries at 300 thousand library units (ca. 1915-1917 million scans); and museums at about 300 thousand reproductions.
The work of digitisation in Poland is characterised by fragmentation and a lack of coordination of the initiatives undertaken. The reasons for this situation include, inter alia, a lack of funding of digitisation at the central level, low levels of awareness on the importance of digitisation of Polish cultural goods among the administrators of the memory institutions, and a lack of awareness of the importance of collecting and permanently storing digital documents for Polish heritage. Moreover, most cultural institutions are not able to finance the laboratory equipment and digitisation from their own budgets, which is why these works are financed on an ad hoc basis, from the structural funds, targeted subsidies or international projects, which does not provide them with continuity and sustainability. Central coordination of the digitisation process is particularly important for libraries, since there is a danger of digitising the same documents in different centres.
One of the obstacles that complicate the process of sharing digital documents in archives and on library websites is the limitations of the Copyright and Related Rights Act, database protection and others. Therefore, it seems necessary to modify the existing provisions or create new legal provisions, as well as to popularise the free licenses for the non-exclusive digital publications and to post documents on the Creative Commons license type, developed specifically for the Internet.
Last update: December, 2020
Intercultural dialogue is not an priority of cultural policies in Poland. There are no specific state programmes to support trans-national intercultural dialogue. Some of the activities in this field are covered by the Euroregions. In Poland, there are 16 Euroregions. These are:
- Nysa (1991, Czech Republic, Germany and Poland);
- Sprewa-Nysa-Bóbr (1993, Poland and Germany);
- Pro Europa Viadrina (1993, Poland and Germany);
- Pomerania (1995, Poland, Germany, Sweden);
- Niemen (1997 , Poland, Lithuania, Belarus);
- Glacensis (1996, Czech Republic, Poland);
- Karpacki (1993, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania);
- Tatry (1994, Poland, Slovakia);
- Bug (1995, Poland, Ukraine);
- Pradziad (1997, Poland, Czech Republic);
- Bałtyk (1998, Poland, Lithuania, Sweden);
- Śląsk cieszyński (1998, Poland and Czech Republic);
- Silesia (1998, Poland and Czech Republic);
- Beskidy (2000, Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic);
- Puszcza Białowieska (2002, Poland and Belarus);
- Łyna-Ława (2003, Poland and Russia).
The activities in the scope of trans-national intercultural dialogue on the local level are partially covered by the Town-twinning programmes and municipality networks such as Eurocities or BaltMet.
Unfortunately, there are no data available on initiatives taken by NGO’s in the field of intercultural dialogue. However, this does not mean that such actions are missing. Various grant programmes are available to support cooperation with other countries (e.g. grants from the Polish-American Freedom Foundation or the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation) and events promoting their culture. There are also events to support the social integration of migrants and festivals held to promote minority culture (e.g. Festival of Jewish Culture in Warsaw - "Singer's Warsaw").
Wrocław, a city with poviat status, was the only one to introduce the Strategy for Intercultural Dialogue (2018-2022). The planned results of the implementation of this programme relate to the following areas:
- Education – increasing the level of knowledge and strengthening intercultural competences;
- Integration – building a sense of social belonging;
- Security – strengthening the safety of residents;
- Cooperation and communication – creation of cooperation platforms and strengthening of the communication process.
The following is stated in the introduction of the strategy: "The Wrocław Strategy for Intercultural Dialogue for 2018-2022 is a response to the emerging new challenges and social needs resulting from the increasing participation of foreigners in the socio-economic life of Wrocław. Various dimensions of community life create a network of mutual relations between the inhabitants of Wrocław and the migrants who live in Wrocław The experience of multiculturalism can be a new experience for both Wrocław citizens and foreigners. That is why it is so important to create conditions for building new ties, increasing intercultural competences, which are necessary for mutual understanding, coexistence and cooperation. Accepting and appreciating the values that other cultures bring to the life of the community is closely related to knowing and understanding one's own cultural identity. "
Last update: December, 2020
The official Polish educational system does not cover issues related to intercultural dialogue and multiculturalism. However, many smaller-scale initiatives are undertaken in this field (usually by NGOs and independent institutions, see chapter 1.4.2).
Poland seems to be a culturally homogenous country. The subject of interculturalism has been seriously neglected in national education. Still, being a part of the larger multicultural European community should encourage educational authorities to incorporate such topics in school curricula. Some elements of intercultural education have been introduced into teaching programmes in the regions which have a significant number of students with origins other than Polish.
The question of interculturalism in arts and cultural education is pointedly connected with the issue of mobility. Schools and universities which participate in European programmes like Socrates, have made a notable contribution to the process of modernisation of Polish education. Activities concerning multilingualism, tolerance etc., as well as creative actions related to such issues become more and more popular among both students and teachers from all types of educational institutions. The growing popularity of intercultural activities facilitates and increases the possibilities of gaining financial, technical and content related support from various institutions.
Last update: December, 2020
The Polish audiovisual market model is based on three categories of broadcasting: public service broadcasters, licensing - social broadcasters, and licensing - commercial broadcasters.
The television market is divided between the public broadcaster TVP and two commercial television stations: Polsat and TVN. Public television offers nationwide and regional programmes operating under the name TVP INFO (sixteen regional centres). Additionally, TVP offers five satellite channels: TVP Polonia (for Poles living abroad), TVP Kultura (culture channel), TVP Historia (history channel), TVP Sport (sports channel) and TVP HD. Other channels can be viewed only via the digital platforms and cable networks, so their range and influence is limited.
TVP Kultura was launched on 24th April 2005. It is aimed at the promotion of various cultural activities, including non-commercial artistic projects. The half of the channel's broadcast material is based on Polish Public Television's (TVP) archival programmes. The rest consists of programmes bought from foreign broadcasting companies.
Public radio and television are mainly financed from public funds (licence fees) and budget subsidies. Advertising is an additional source of financing although some restrictions regarding public media are present.
The major responsibilities of the National Broadcasting Council are set out in the Broadcasting Act and are twofold: to award broadcasting frequencies to public radio and television stations and to share income from the license fees between different public broadcasters. The National Broadcasting Council is also obliged to design, in consultation with the Prime Minister, state policy in the field of broadcasting.
The supervision of the National Broadcasting Council does not prevent the politicisation of public media. A strong political influence on Polish public broadcasting institutions is very visible and commonly discussed.
Several complaints against public broadcasters have been issued which argue that they do not fulfil their public function to support independent and ambitious producers or young creators.
Despite the dynamic development in the field of accessibility to the Internet, Poland still faces the problem of digital exclusion. In developing infrastructure to deliver broadband Internet, Poland, in particular the eastern Polish provinces, lags behind the rest of Europe. The problem is also a lack of media education, which could prepare young people to be more critical and conscious as well as creative and active in using media, especially new technologies.
Last update: December, 2020
The official national language is Polish. The national interest in protecting the Polish language was expressed through the adoption of The Polish Language Act in 1999 (see also chapter 4.1.8).
The Polish education system guarantees the right to learn minority languages as mother tongues, since a Decree of the Ministry of National Education and Sport on 3 December 2002. Learning a minority language or being taught in a minority language is available at all levels of education and is organised by school directors at the request of parents or legal guardians of a pupil (for older youth - at the request of the student). A minimum of seven pupils is required at primary level to hold a class in a minority language, and fourteen students at secondary level. Minority language teaching is financed from the state budget. National and ethnic minorities and the Kashubian community benefit from increased educational subsidies in accordance with a Decree of the Minister of National Education and Sport from 21 December 2006, on the allocation of the overall education subsidy to local governments in 2007.
On 12 February 2009, Poland ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. The Convention entered into force on 1st June 2009.
There is currently no debate on minority languages in Poland. Particular projects focused on sustaining minority traditions and languages are financially supported by the Ministry of Culture, for example the publication of periodicals.
Last update: December, 2020
The gender equality index for Poland is 56.8 on a scale from 1 to 100. This is below the figure of 66.2 for the EU-28, although progress is keeping pace with the average tempo of changes in the EU. Poland's score increased by 4.4 points, which currently results in the 18th position.
The Constitution of the Republic of Poland treats equal rights of men and women and the prohibition of gender discrimination in Article 33.
At the state level, there are no specific regulations, or codex of good practices supporting equality and diversification in different areas of social life, including culture. Only 29.13% of the Parliament (Sejm) is female. Moreover, there is a very low number of women in government (17%). However, the Minister of Culture Robert Gliński, has two women (Wanda Zwinogrodzka and Magdalena Gawin) and two men in his Ministry’s leadership team.
There are no quota schemes and most cultural institutions are managed by men, which is in line with the general trend in Poland and in Europe. Among the lower rank cultural professions, although, there is a relatively high degree of feminisation.
One of the most widespread phenomena that undermine gender equality is the gender pay gap. In Poland it is 7%. The difference between men and women in the “specialist” group of occupation (which includes most of the culture oriented professions) is 12%. The biggest income disparity is among managers, where women earn 23% less than men (Eurostat 2018).
On the other hand, the city of Warsaw, led by major Rafał Trzaskowski, has launched a programme dedicated to women in 2019 (“Warszawa dla kobiet”). The main points of the programme are: appointment of a Women's Affairs Officer and a Women's Council, aid and safety programmes, increased in vitro funding, vaccination against HPV and access to medical care without a conscience clause.
At the moment of writing, there are many protests in Poland resulting from the tightening of the abortion law. Women flock to the streets demanding abortion rights and carrying anti-government slogans. The Programme Council of the All-Poland Women's Strike was established. They presented a list of postulates, which initially did not include culture. However, the situation has changed and there is a special working group within the Council of the All-Poland Women's Strike that is dedicated to the cultural matters.
Last update: December, 2020
The Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage runs the "Accessible Culture" grant programme. The strategic goal of the programme is to support facilitating access to culture, aimed at a wide audience and favouring social integration. These activities should serve to achieve real, systemic and long-term effects in eliminating barriers to access to culture in the following dimensions: spatial, economic, socio-mental and competence, with particular emphasis on the needs of people from localities deprived of direct access to cultural goods and people with special needs, including disabled people.
Third sector organisations play a significant role in facilitating access to culture for disabled people. It is impossible to list all the events and organizations involved in facilitating access to culture for people with disabilities. Foundations such as the Foundation of Culture Without Barriers prepare and disseminate cultural events, texts, movies etc. to people with disabilities. Various cultural outings are organised by the No Barriers Foundation, which also checks the accessibility of cultural institutions for people with disabilities. The Full Culture Foundation is involved in organising events for people with disabilities, such as the Week of People With Disabilities, fairs and picnics.
Last update: December, 2020
There are thirteen national and ethnic minorities recognised by Polish law. They constitute between 3 and 4% of the Polish population. The representatives of national minorities are: Germans, Ukrainians, Armenians, Belarusians, Russians, Latvians, Slovaks, Jews and Czechs. There are also representatives of four ethnic minorities: Karaims, Łemkowie, Roma and Tatars. In addition, some areas of Pomorskie voivoideship are inhabited by the Kashubian community, speaking the regional language. Polish law defines in detail the rights of national and ethnic minorities.
Article 35 of the Polish Constitution ensures that national and ethnic minorities retain freedom to practice their own traditions and customs, and to use their national language.
The National and Ethnic Minorities and Regional Languages Act was adopted by the Polish Parliament on 6th January 2005. This is the first legal document that gives a precise definition of national and ethnic minorities in Poland. This Act describes "national minorities" as those groups who identify themselves with an established country/nation i.e., Germans, Ukrainians, Jews etc. It also defines "ethnic minorities" as those who do not have their own country – those who are state-less such as the Roma people. Other points of the legal definition are common for both types of minorities.
This Act is perceived as controversial by many experts, politicians and social activists. Some of its items provoked a discussion about the situation of new minorities e.g. the Vietnamese. The National and Ethnic Minorities and Regional Languages Act emphasises that a foreign community can only be recognised as a national and ethnic minority if its ancestors had lived in Poland for at least a hundred years. Currently, the Vietnamese are a significant and continually increasing community in major Polish cities. They do not, however, enjoy equal rights with other, officially acknowledged minorities. The law has been criticised for not including such communities.
The only minority group with parliamentary representation are the Germans (two deputies in the Lower Chamber). Other communities have their representatives in local governments. In a few communes in various regions of the country, German and Lithuanian obtained a status of "auxiliary languages" and public information is published both in Polish and German or Lithuanian.
Although cultural policies of local governments are quite diversified in different cities and regions, while discussing social inclusion it is difficult to ignore that recently some local authorities adopted resolutions against so-called ‘LGBT ideology’. These resolutions serve more as political declarations than actual acts of legislature. Nevertheless, they are widely criticised as unconstitutional and openly discriminatory.
Last update: December, 2020
National Conference for Culture
The National Conference for Culture is a project of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, planned to recognize and implement the needs of Polish artistic milieu.
The conference started in 2017 with five thematic symposia devoted to five areas of art: music, dance, theater, fine arts and folk culture. Plenary sessions were programmed with the participation of authorities, artists and cultural organizers to discuss the most important issues related to the current state of culture in Poland, both in its institutional dimension and from the point of view of an individual artist. The subject of the debate included issues of the relationship between the state and artistic activity, areas requiring regulation and state support, and issues regarding the role of private capital in the development of culture. Outlining the cultural policy framework of the state and local governments has also become the subject of considerations within local communities thanks to a series of six regional symposia.
Such prepared and conducted environmental diagnosis of cultural life in Poland showed the shortcomings in the artists social security system and opened the prospect for new decisions, including legislative ones, as well as for the formulation of good practices and collective agreements. During the conference a team of experts (OKK Experts Group) consisting of scientists, directors of institutions, representatives of trade unions and associations, and the artists themselves was established. Work of experts led to the development of the Act on the rights of the professional artist.
On September 16-29, 2020, the final of the 2nd Dance Congress was held in Warsaw, of which the Institute of Music and Dance is the initiator and main organiser. The congress began at the end of 2019 with multi-stage consultations with the Polish dance community, as part of which a congress programme was developed. During the meeting, great emphasis was placed on the benefits of dance for society and on how to strengthen its presence, both in politics and cultural education, and in the everyday life of every human being.
Alerts on Culture
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team of experts at Open Eyes Economy HUB has published about 100 expert alerts in many areas, including economy, local governments and education. Among the issues discussed, there was also the topic of culture. The Open Eyes Economy movement is not only about economic concepts developed in academia: its initiators have always emphasised that thanks to artists and culture, complex scientific theories are able to resonate in society. Specialists of the Alerts on Culture series analysed the situation of the entire sector, and presented a number of solutions and ideas for protecting Polish culture and counteracting the deepening crisis.
Last update: December, 2020
The sustainable development of culture in Poland is not mentioned in one strategic document at national level, despite the agreements ratified by the Polish Government at international and global level. The document Poland 2030, Third Wave of Modernity: The 'Long-term National Development Strategy contains, admittedly, provisions on “strengthening the role of civic, cultural and media education, economic education and education for sustainable development in school, and stimulating cooperation between schools and external institutions, for example entrepreneurs, local government, culture institutions or NGO’s. Both the increase in employment and, once the macroeconomic conditions have been sorted out, economic growth and modernisation of the entire economy are the most important levers of Polish development, both in the long-term perspective until 2030 and in the medium term - until 2020”.
However, attempts to implement the provisions of the Agenda 21 for Culture are visible mainly in regional and local development programmes, and this is mostly at the level of large and medium-sized cities. Strategies in the field of culture are mainly executive documents for the activities of cultural institutions and support for local creators and artists, and rarely locate culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable local development. Regardless of public legal solutions, there are many grassroots initiatives taken by cultural institutions or non-governmental organisations aimed at implementing sustainable development goals by 2030.
These include, for example, the following:
- Poland's first carbon calculator, which makes it possible to estimate the impact of cultural institutions or events and compensate for the carbon footprint through offsets activities;
- The establishment of the Green Events standard;
- The creation of the Code of Responsible Festivals - organisers of festivals and events created a document promoting responsible relations with the environment, festival community and neighbours;
- Environmental declaration of the Coalition of Summer Literary Festivals;
- "Exchange waste for cultural excursions" - a nationwide campaign to exchange waste for tickets to cultural institutions.
Last update: December, 2020
European Capital of Culture
On June 21st 2011, Wrocław was appointed as the European Capital of Culture for 2016. Five cities took part in the final selection (Gdańsk, Katowice, Lublin, Warszawa and Wrocław). The competition provoked a nationwide debate on local cultural policies and their directions. It also forced candidate cities into long-term planning in the field of culture.
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement provoked a heated discussion about copyright. Although Bogdan Zdrojewski, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, stated that ratification of ACTA by Poland will not influence the existing legal system, it was met with great reluctance. The probability of signing the agreement by the Polish government resulted in a strong social support for the Anonymous Group among Polish Internet users, who feared restrictions on freedom of expression and other rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. There have been cases of virtual attacks on governmental websites. Numerous protests took place, of which the largest was held in Krakow, with about 15 000 protesters. During the vote in the European Parliament on ACTA, all Polish MEPs present at the vote spoke against it.
In 2014, Polish artists proposed to producers of smartphones and tablets to introduce a tax on mobile devices. Their main slogan was "Do not kill us!". Collective Management Organisations of Copyright wanted to add the smartphones and tablets to the list of so-called "blank discs". These are the media devices in which price includes the fee, which goes to organisations of copyright administration. The idea has not been positively received neither by producers of electronics nor by the Ministry of Culture. However, in its communication the Ministry of Culture emphasised that the system of charges on blank discs and electronic devices needs to be updated. In 2020, the debate on "blank discs" was resumed due to the ongoing work on the act on the rights of the professional artist. The reprographic fee is supposed to be one of the ways of financing this project.