New Polish government formally dissolves state media for restructuring

Sienkiewicz explained on the online service The liquidation status can be revoked at any time “by the owner”, i.

New Polish government formally dissolves state media for restructuring

Sienkiewicz explained on the online service The liquidation status can be revoked at any time “by the owner”, i.e. the Polish state.

With the decision, the showdown between the new pro-European government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk and President Andrzej Duda, who was an ally of the previous government, enters a new round. Last week, Duda announced that he would veto the new government's budget law in order to block planned financial aid for the public media worth the equivalent of a good 690 million euros.

Duda justified his veto by saying that subsidizing the media was a violation of the constitution and a breach of constitutional principles. The public media must be “legally restored,” demanded Duda, with a view to the dismissal of the station heads.

After the leadership of the state media was dismissed, politicians from the previously ruling PiS party also occupied the public television building in order, according to their own statements, to defend “media pluralism”. The new government, on the other hand, had referred to a previously passed resolution by the newly elected parliament, which is intended to restore the "impartiality" of the public media.

The opposition and non-governmental organizations had repeatedly accused the PiS government, which was voted out of power in October, of increasingly restricting media freedom in Poland during its eight years in power, of funneling significant financial resources into the state media and of turning them into mouthpieces for right-wing nationalist government propaganda.

The non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders found around 2020 that one-sided reporting and “hate speech” were the order of the day in the state media in Poland. The state media has been transformed into “propaganda mouthpieces for the government.” In its 2023 report, the organization noted that the PiS government is also increasingly trying to bring private media under its control.

The new Polish government also announced on Wednesday that the country would join the European Public Prosecutor's Office (Eppo). The cabinet had decided on an “urgent notification” of accession, Tusk said after a meeting with his ministers. Accession enables, among other things, better control of the EU funds that go to Poland.

The European Public Prosecutor's Office based in Luxembourg has been tackling cross-border crime at the expense of the EU budget since June 2021. Tusk told reporters that joining the law enforcement agency should "also make it easier for Poland to receive and use EU funds more quickly, more transparently and in accordance with the rules."

Joining the European Public Prosecutor's Office was a campaign promise from Tusk. Poland's right-wing nationalist previous government had always refused to join EPPO - citing possible interference in the country's justice system and fear of limiting national sovereignty.

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