MEPs: Academic, artistic, cultural and media freedom in Poland is attacked

MEPs: Academic, artistic, cultural and media freedom in Poland is attacked


EP’s Culture and Education Committee on 17 May concluded their mission to Warsaw and Lublin where they travelled to evaluate developments in education, culture, media and youth policies.

The 6-MEP-strong delegation, led by Committee Chair Sabine Verheyen met representatives of the Polish government and media as well as the cultural industry and academic community. The delegation also visited Lublin, the first Polish city that has been granted the title of European Youth Capital title in 2023.

Sabine Verheyen said in the concluding press conference: “There is cause for great concern: Academic freedom, artistic and cultural freedom and in particular media freedom and media pluralism in Poland are being attacked by the Polish government. Sometimes subtly, sometimes more openly. This goes against basic European values and the EU cannot and must not accept it.

The CULT Committee supports the clear majority of Polish citizens who believe in fundamental European values.

The help provided to Ukrainian refugees in Poland or the example of Lublin as a successful European Youth Capital clearly show what impressive things Polish society is capable of in terms of the fundamental values of the European Union.

The current Polish government should take Polish citizens’ openness and warmth and their historic love of freedom as an example, instead of undermining freedom and democracy in Poland.”

In Warsaw MEPs discussed education policy matters with Polish Minister for Education and Science Mr Przemysław Czarnek, held a debate on academic freedom with representatives of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools as well as with educational NGOs.

To gain insights into the media policy, MEPs spoke to the chairman of the National Broadcasting Council Mr Maciej Świrsk and representatives of major Polish TV stations and newspapers.

Cultural policy challenges were discussed with deputy minister for Culture and National Heritage Mr Jarosław Sellin as well as with the Polish Filmmakers Association, Dramatic Theatre of Warsaw and Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

In Lublin Members did a follow-up on how cooperation between young people, youth organisations and the Lublin Municipality is taking place, by underlining their determination to ensure the legacy of the European Year of Youth. They visited mayor of Lublin Mr Krzysztof Żuk, the European Capital of Youth Lublin 2023 team, as well as Lublin Social Committee supporting Ukraine.

Participants: Sabine VERHEYEN (Chair) (EPP, Germany), Michaela ŠOJDROVÁ (EPP, Czech Republic), Ilana CICUREL (Renew, France), Diana RIBA I GINER (Verts/ALE, Spain), Irena JOVEVA (Renew, Slovenia). Accompanying Member: Tomasz FRANKOWSKI (EPP, Poland).

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