PES rejects plans to regulate journalism in Poland


Jaroslaw Kaczynski at PiS convention

TV screen shows PiS ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski address the party's convention ahead of parliamentary elections this month. Photo: JP Black.

The Party of European Socialists rejects plans to regulate journalistic activity in Poland, as written in the election programme of the governing party PiS (Law and Order). European socialists believe Kaczynski is trying to use government action to curb the freedom of the press and limit dissent.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“I am old enough to remember what the regulation of the press looked like under communism. It was the total government control of the press - the exact opposite of the freedom of the media. It is a shame that the current governing party in Poland dares to propose going back to it.”

In its election programme, PiS announced plans to set up a council with powers to strip journalists of their professional licence. 

Sergei Stanishev added:

“Freedom of the press is a fundamental democratic freedom: it allows for public scrutiny of those in power and for a fair electoral competition. The fact the Polish ruling party wants to limit it is one more proof of their authoritarian drift. There is only one alternative: to vote them out of power before it is too late and to endorse the progressives of Lewica, who - within the opposition - represent the values of freedom, equality and non-discrimination.”