Newsletter 28 February – 6 March 2017
- Out of Poland’s 45 health resorts, only 7 have air quality monitoring stations which measure air quality parameters, said Kamil Wyszkowski, Director of UN Global Compact Poland in a consultative meeting on the problem of air pollution. The meeting was held at the CHR Office and was attended by representatives of NGOs from many Polish cities, the Supreme Audit Office, municipal authorities of Kraków and Warsaw, and the media [more].
The government plans to introduce changes in its relations with non-governmental organizations. It has also proposed the establishment of a new institution: the National Centre for Civil Society Development. Those activities have been, however, criticized by social organizations. In connection with their doubts, Commissioner for Human Rights Adam Bodnar invited representatives of non-governmental organizations to discuss the third sector’s relationships with the government, including the structure and system of work of the announced National Centre for Civil Society Development [more].
- The current Constitutional Tribunal crisis has a direct influence on the work of the Commissioner of Human Rights. The paralysis of the Tribunal’s work translates into the CHR’s attempts to find other measures to protect citizens’ rights and liberties, emphasized Stanisław Trociuk. The Commissioner’s deputy also stressed that every common court not only may, but is required to refuse to apply a legal regulation that is inconsistent with the international law (e.g. the Charter of Fundamental Rights). - The Constitution contains a broad scope of reserves to which we may refer in such situations, added Trociuk. Nearly a thousand persons from across Poland, representing different legal professions, registered to take part in the conference. Among the panellists and invited guests were, among others, Małgorzata Gersdorf, the first president of the Supreme Court, Marek Safjan, a judge of the EU Court of Justice, Stanisław Biernat, Vice President of the Constitutional Tribunal, we well as Ewa Łętowska and Andrzej Zoll [more].
Since January, the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Financial Ombudsman have been conducting a joint information campaign for persons who took loans denominated in Swiss francs. In nine Polish cities, the campaign meetings were held. In total, they were attended by about 1700 citizens. Each of the meetings gathered from 100 to 300 people. The scale of the interest in the presented information was beyond our expectations [more]. The last meeting was held in Szczecin. All the meetings were held in towns/cities in which CHR branch offices / consultation points are located.
The Financial Ombudsman, whose office was established in 2015, may support citizens in their complaints relating to financial institutions, including the provision of assistance in connection with court proceedings. To qualify for such assistance, the citizen is required to have filed a complaint to his/her bank. The CHR meetings have shown, however, that people do not know how to do it. Meanwhile, the government has withdrawn from its plans to introduce legislation to regulate the issue of loans in Swiss francs, indicating that court proceedings are the best method to solve the problems.
The CHR took part in the School of Dialogue closing gala [report and the CHR’s speech text]