The pandemic continues, but the first data-based analyses are starting to emerge – and some conclusions may now be drawn. The most important indicator in assessing the response to the pandemic is the excess mortality – i.e. how many more people died in comparison to the average rate in previous years.
The battle for the new, non-partisan Ombudsman has been ongoing in Poland for a few months now. The governing coalition for a long time did not acknowledge the need to propose their own candidate, and naturally refused to back the candidate of the opposition.
The state of media freedom in Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia is increasingly getting worse. Independent news outlets are rarer and limited, and the governments directly threaten journalists. Media freedom is suffering.
The current pandemic and the previous lockdown had effects on several areas of life, including work and social life. However, there is a rather neglected sphere which is rarely discussed in the media compared with other topics.
Since coming into power by an overall majority in 2015, the right-wing Christian-nationalist PiS party has engaged in a systematic effort to weaken and destabilize independent media critical of the government, creating a severe concern for political and cultural media diversity in Poland.
The front pages of many Polish newspapers and news portals as well as the screens of private TV stations remained black. In a joint action with the slogan “Media without a choice”, they protested against the plan of the government to introduce a tax on the advertising revenues of media companie
European Commission published its Rule of Law Report, which reported on the state of justice, corruption, media and other democratic institutions in EU countries. Michal Šimečka of the Renew Europe group called the report important but not sufficient.
In December 2019, it seemed that 2020 would be the key year for Poland, and that the events of the next year, 2021, would be a simple consequence of the last important political verdict of a closed election cycle – the election of the President of Poland.
The Church in Poland was, is, and will be. Meanwhile, political parties exist, disappear, and new ones emerge. This is what it looks like in Poland, where politicians of all ideological backgrounds are much more afraid of their parish priest than of their voters.