Episode 58

Abolishing Unanimity & more – 28th Nov 2023

EU amendment to abolish the principle of unanimity, NATO’s Cyber Coalition, investigation into the ruling party’s power abuse, an award for Vladimir Kara-Murza, Pfizer’s lawsuit against Poland, and much more!

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Jazz in Film Poland






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Witam from Keswick Village! This is the Rorshok Poland Update from the 28th of November twenty twenty-three A quick summary of what's going down in Poland.

Let’s get the show on the road with the developments in the EU...

On Wednesday, the 22nd, the European Parliament adopted an amendment to abolish the principle of unanimity in the European Council on sixty-five areas, such as foreign policy and defense. Currently, all member states should unanimously agree on a proposal to adopt an official decision. If any country vetoes the proposal, it will not come into force.

In response to the EU decision, the Polish government immediately adopted a resolution to oppose the proposed changes. The executive stated that this amendment would reduce the country's sovereignty and violate the Polish constitution. Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of the ruling Law and Justice party, said this was an attempt to abolish the Polish state altogether. The government thinks that if the EU abolishes the principle of unanimity, the EU, including Germany and France will govern Poland. Currently, Germany and France have a bigger influence in the EU than other countries because they have a larger population and make bigger economic contributions to the European bloc. On the other hand, the Left Party welcomed the EU's decision. Surprisingly,

Also on Wednesday, Donald Tusk, the leader of the opposition party Civic Platform, announced he would set up three different investigation commissions to look into the ruling party’s alleged power abuse and financial irregularities. The commissions will focus on Law and Justice party members asking immigrants for cash to give them visas The investigation will also cover the government's alleged abuse of the Pegasus surveillance spyware, and other efforts by politicians to increase their wealth illegally. Moreover, Tusk plans to abolish the commission that investigated Russian influence in Poland. Recall that the ruling party created the commission this year to look into the gas deal that the government signed with Russia when Tusk was the prime minister, in twenty ten.

In addition to investigating the ruling party, the opposition party says Adam Glapiński, the chief of the Central Bank, could have fought more against inflation and violated the independence of the central bank when cooperating with the ruling party. Meanwhile, the ruling party said that Tusk is about to attack the central bank's independence, and they will report this situation to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the European Central Bank to oppose the leader of the Civic Platform.

Moving forward to the truck driver’s protests…

Recently, Polish truck drivers have been blocking the Yahodyn-Dorohusk checkpoint on the border with Ukraine, which led to massive queues of trucks and cars. They have been protesting against Ukrainian truck drivers' privilege of selling goods in the EU without paying taxes. the EU. Similarly, on Thursday, the 23rd, farmers joined truck drivers' protests. They closed down the Medyka border checkpoint with Ukraine, demanding the government subsidize wheat prices and stop the influx of cheap Ukrainian grain into the EU market. The farmers and trucker drivers said they would extend their protest until the government and the EU fulfilled their demands.Sadly, two Ukrainian truck drivers died waiting at the blocked checkpoints to enter Ukraine this week.

In foreign affairs, Poland has taken an important role in NATO...

On Monday, the 27th, NATO’s Cyber Coalition twenty twenty-three exercises began under the command of Poland. This Coalition is a virtual army that aims to defend member states against cyberattacks. Przemysław Lipczyński, spokesman of the Cyberspace Defense Component Command, said that this year’s mission proved that countries’ cyber soldiers were high-class specialists. Moreover, the country’s cyber army aims to reach over 6,500 soldiers in twenty twenty-four.

Similarly, a conference brought four allied countries together…

On Wednesday, the 22nd, the summit of the Visegrad Group, or V4, took place in the Czech Republic. The V4 is a regional cooperation group comprising Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Poland’s President Duda urged participating countries to build new roads and railways to increase the region's development and security, allowing the transport of military equipment amid the Russian-Ukrainian war.

But let’s go back to NATO for a bit…

On Thursday, the 23rd, the foreign ministry honored Vladimir Kara-Murza. The Russian opposition activist and political prisoner got a Polish state decoration called the Pro Dignitate Humana award for his efforts to promote human rights in Russia against Vladimir Putin’s oppression of the opposition. The Polish state gives this award annually to people who have contributed to human and individual rights freedoms.

Moving on to internal affairs…

On Monday, the 27th, Mateusz Morawiecki, the current prime minister, announced the names of his party ministers for the next term of the parliament. Nearly all proposed ministers are new, except Mariusz Błaszczak, the defense minister, and Anna Gembicka, the minister of Agriculture. Morawiecki will have two weeks to convince the MPs and political parties to get approval for his new cabinet and his premiership. Unfortunately for him, only the Confederation party responded to his invitation for a coalition talk. To make things worse, at the end of the meeting, the Confederation party stated that it would not form an alliance with the ruling party

In an update to a previous story…

Recall that the opposition parties wanted to liquidate the state television TVP because it serves the ruling party's interests despite their claim of being objective. On Monday, the 27th, the ruling party participated in the National Media Council, a council responsible for media management, and adopted amendments to the statutes of TVP. The amendments made the liquidation procedure harder by giving more power to the channel managers.

Let’s also look at cultural updates...

The Christmas market season has started in the country. Market squares are located in the city centers or Old Towns. They are decorated with Christmas ornaments and colorful lights. Apart from buying gifts there, you can try the local cuisine.

From the 29th of November until the 1st of December, Warsaw will host two exciting events….

For music lovers, Jazz in Film Poland will present forgotten works of Polish movies that used musical illustrations created by top Polish jazz musicians such as Zbigniew Namysłowski, and Adam Makowicz.

If you are more into tech, an innovative exhibition called the Melt Museum will offer visitors a techno-utopia about the future relationships between humans and artificial intelligence.

For more information on both events, follow the links in the show notes!

And to close this edition, some health updates….

On Thursday, the 23rd, famous vaccine provider Pfizer filed a lawsuit against Poland, demanding one and a half billion dollars after the country canceled their contract in twenty twenty-two. According to government officials, last year, Poland was going to receive sixty million COVID vaccines. However, the country canceled the contract, didn’t pay Pfizer, and gave the money saved to Ukraine, which faced a Russian invasion. The first court hearing will take place next month in Brussels.

Aaaand that’s it for this week. Remember you can buy one of our really cool and environmentally friendly T-shirts! They are made of 100% unbleached organic cotton, grown and ginned in Texas, spun and knit in the Carolinas, and sewn and printed in Missouri. To buy one, follow the link in our show notes.

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