Without questioning the right to make changes to the legal system by a parliamentary majority, it should be emphasized that a political goal cannot serve as justification for violating or circumventing constitutional and statutory regulations, wrote President Andrzej Duda in a statement to the Marshal of the Sejm, Szymon Hołownia, regarding changes to public media.
The politicians of the ruling coalition have prepared a draft “resolution on restoring legal order and impartiality and reliability of public media and the Polish Press Agency.” It was signed by members of the Civic Coalition, the Left, the Polish People’s Party, and Poland 2050. The proposed changes have sparked a heated debate. Now, President Andrzej Duda has joined the discussion.
The President’s Position
In a statement addressed to Marshal of the Sejm Szymon Hołownia, the president reminded that the activities of public media are regulated by the constitution. He wrote, “According to Article 21(1) of the Act of December 29, 1992, on radio and television (Journal of Laws of 2022, item 1722), public radio and television fulfill a public mission, offering, on the terms specified by the law, diverse programs and other services in the fields of information, journalism, culture, entertainment, education, and sports to the entire society and its individual parts, characterized by pluralism, impartiality, balance, independence, innovation, high quality, and the integrity of communication.”
“The role of public media in a democratic state is very significant because it fits into the realization of the freedom of expressing one’s views and obtaining and disseminating information (Article 54(1) of the Constitution),” he added.
Andrzej Duda emphasized that the “social assessment of the activities of public media is diverse,” but those in power do not have the right to shape them.
The President added that “the announced changes must respect democratic standards and be carried out in accordance with the rules specified in the Constitution.
Nie kwestionując prawa do wprowadzania zmian w systemie prawnym przez większość parlamentarną, należy podkreślić, że cel polityczny nie może stanowić usprawiedliwienia dla łamania czy obchodzenia konstytucyjnych i ustawowych uregulowań – napisał Prezydent @AndrzejDuda w piśmie… pic.twitter.com/8dIOkEvJMi— Kancelaria Prezydenta (@prezydentpl) December 19, 2023