Episode 71

POLAND: Farmers’ Protest & more – 27th Feb 2024

EU money for judicial system change, law on postgraduate studies, farmers’ protest, space exhibition in Warsaw museum, Eurovision song contest, and much more!

Thanks for tuning in!

Let us know what you think and what we can improve on by emailing us at poland@rorshok.com. You can also contact us on Twitter & Instagram @rorshokpoland or on Mastodon @poland@rorshok.social

Like what you hear? Subscribe, share, and tell your buds.

Link to updates: 


We want to get to know you! Please fill in this mini survey:


Duda’s speech about Ukraine:


LANA’s song for Eurovision Song Contest:



Wanna avoid ads and help us financially? Follow the link:


Oops! It looks like we made a mistake.

In 0:29, the reader should have said, "to" and in 3:38, "future."

Sorry for the inconvenience!


Witam from Keswick Village! This is the Rorshok Poland Update from the 27th of February twenty twenty-four. A quick summary of what's going down in Poland.

This week, the farmers' protest continues, causing more tension in Poland-Ukraine relations. Along with already blocked roads on the Polish-Ukrainian border, the farmers tried to interfere with railways to Ukraine, which Poland and other countries use to give humanitarian and military aid to the nation at war.

Moreover, some farmers carried banners that called for Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine and Brussels, the capital of the EU, to restore order. After the incident, the Polish Foreign Ministry condemned the signs and asked demonstrators to exclude people who carried pro-Russian banners from the protest.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian President, asked the Polish government and the president to go to the border on Saturday to resolve the issue. However, the Polish government ignored him and announced that they would open more passages on the Polish-Ukrainian border for trucks to cross. The Polish citizens criticized the executive for its ineffectiveness in resolving the farmers' protest, which also caused traffic disruptions within the country.

Since we mentioned Ukraine, on Saturday, the 24th, Poland commemorated the two years of the full-scale Russian-Ukrainian war and started a campaign to remind the US and the world of the seriousness of the situation. On Saturday, Radosław Sikorski, the Foreign Minister, visited the United States to convince the members of Congress to ratify the aid package for Ukraine. Sikorski also appeared on American TV channels to speak about the war. He will attend the United Nations's debate on Ukraine and try to convince political leaders to give more help to the country. Similarly, President Andrzej Duda published a four-minute video in English for the anniversary of the invasion, saying that Russia may win the war if Ukraine does not receive military and humanitarian help. To watch the video, follow the link in the show notes.

But that’s not the only thing the government is worried about. The executive is concerned about Donald Trump possibly becoming the next US president because, recently, he said he is open to cooperating with Vladimir Putin, unlike Joe Biden. Moreover, Trump added that he will not support NATO countries that spend less money on military equipment than the alliance requires. The new Polish liberal government criticized Trump's words, saying they weaken NATO. Unlike the government, President Andrzej Duda seems more optimistic about Trump, and he believes that he is a man of his word and can put an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Another issue related to foreign relations is the Visegrad Group or V4. Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia are members of the alliance, which was established in nineteen ninety-one to enhance cooperation between these neighboring countries. However, on Monday, the 26th, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that Poland may leave the group because Slovakia and Hungary support Russia despite its invasion of Ukraine, and Hungary keeps blocking the EU's further financial aid to the country at war. He added that the policies of these countries are against common Western interests.

Moving on to internal politics, on Tuesday, the 20th, the government adopted a bill to help restore the rule of law in the country. This measure will change the structure of the National Council of the Judiciary, or KRS, responsible for appointing judges to the courts. The government would no longer have the right to appoint the judges.

This change will end the influence of the previous ruling party, Law and Justice, on courts since the party used to appoint the members of the National Council. The bill will also prevent any future government's influence on the rule of law.

Law and Justice proposed to fire Adam Bodnar, the Justice Minister, one of the main actors behind the bill, from his position in parliament. However, the parliament rejected the proposal.

On a related note, on Friday the 23rd, Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commissioner, and the Belgian Prime Minister visited Warsaw and met with Prime Minister Tusk and President Duda. The EU representative praised the government's decision to restore the rule of law and announced the EU would give 150 billion dollars to Poland because of the bill it had adopted. The EU initially planned to give only eighty-five billion dollars for judicial system change.

Leaders also talked about the farmers' protests. The Polish government wants to cooperate with the EU on the issue instead of making a unilateral decision. Since the country wants to wait for the EU’s green light, resolving the conflict is taking a long time.

Local elections will take place on the 7th of April. According to the Market and Opinion Research Agency, or SW Research, people support the current ruling Civic Platform party more than the Law and Justice party. The research center forecasted that the ruling party would receive forty-three percent of all votes, while Law and Justice would get only eighteen. Even though percentages vary in each poll, nearly all polls indicate that the popularity of the Civic Platform sharply rose after the parliament elections in twenty twenty-three.

Poland is investing in science. On Wednesday, the 21st, the National Museum of Technology in Warsaw opened a display for science fans that shows the country's development in space and technology. The display shows the history of international space development as well as major Polish astronomers such as Nicolaus Copernicus and Johannes Hevelius. Similarly, museum visitors can also learn about Poland’s upcoming space mission: the country will send the second Polish astronaut to space with the cooperation of American SpaceX and Axiom Space.

In entertainment news, this year, the Eurovision Song Contest will take place between the 7th and the 11th of May in Malmö, Sweden. Each year, millions of people from Europe enthusiastically watch the performance of their country's representatives. Famous singer LANA will represent Poland in the contest, and on Wednesday, the 21st, she announced her song. Follow the link in the show notes to listen to it!

On Sunday, the 25th, Toruń citizens cleaned up garbage at a train station to remind the government to take care of the place that has a rich historical background. The railroad was first built in nineteen ten, and people actively used it until nineteen ninety-two, when the new modern railways and stations substituted old ones. The place witnessed the transportation of goods and military equipment during two world wars.

When the state closed the station, it became a deserted and decaying place. While cleaning the station, volunteers also found historical monuments belonging to the Polish People's Republic, the predecessor of today's Poland.

The local authority in Toruń promised to take care of the railway station, use it for educational purposes, and possibly build a museum there. Also, on the morning of the 2nd of March, the station will host a train for people to take photos after thirty-two years of abandonment.

And to close this edition, on Tuesday, the 27th, Maciej Gdula, the Deputy Minister of Science, asked people to be careful when choosing postgraduate studies. This year, the authorities are investigating the Collegium Humanum, a university established in twenty eighteen, that gave students Master of Business Administration diplomas for attending quick crash courses instead of two years of proper education.

Gdula said several other universities established recently that offer postgraduate studies might offer the same crash courses since, currently, there is no regulation or law organizing postgraduate studies. He added that the government is working on a new law to regulate these studies, and the court may annul the diplomas of Collegium Humanum's graduates after the investigation.

Aaaaand that’s it for this week.

Do you know that besides the Poland Update, we also do others? Our latest ones are the Arctic Update, about the area north of the Arctic Circle, the Ocean Update, about the 70% of the earth covered in salt water, and the Multilateral update about all the world's major multilateral institutions. The other ones are all country updates, we have a selection of countries from Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe. Check roroshok.com/updates to see the full list. We left the link in the show notes as well.

Do zobaczenia!

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Rorshok Poland Update
Rorshok Poland Update

Support us

We don’t want to have ads in the updates, which means we currently make no money doing them.
If you enjoy listening and want to help us out financially, you can do so by leaving us a tip. If you can’t help us out financially but still want to support us, please hit the subscribe button in your preferred podcast platform and tell your friends about us.
Support Rorshok Poland Update
We haven’t had any Tips yet :( Maybe you could be the first!