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Tag: Poland

Picking strawberries in a pandemic

Recently, there were over two million migrant workers in Poland. When the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic closed down companies and factories, many of them were left out of work. Some of them went back to their homes. Then came another problem – it turned out that the Polish economy does not function so well without foreign workers.

Every few minutes, a new van arrives at the market in Czerwińsk nad Wisłą – a village about 65 kilometres northwest of Warsaw. Crowds of merchants converge around every one of them. The driver does not even have time to park or open the door, the merchants surround him. The vehicle stops, the door opens. Another one arrives, with only a few goods, taking up a third of the van. There are several dozen boxes of strawberries inside. These are the only ones available. The crowd shouts: “How much? How much?”

September 7, 2020 - Magdalena Chodownik Omar Marques

Dirigisme 2.0. The way to go for the region?

Most countries of Central and Eastern Europe that are now members of the EU developed impressively since the collapse of the centrally planned economy. Yet, Poland and other countries in the region still lack their own capital to compete on a global scale. The merger of Poland’s two state-owned refineries, Orlen and LOTOS, could illustrate a solution – selective state-ownership in crucial sectors.

Economic power is not shared equally across the European Union. Only one out of all EU companies in the Global Fortune 500 ranking is based in one of the new member states that joined the union after 2004. The remaining 112 companies are based in the “old” EU. Yet, as the case of a merger of two state-owned Polish oil companies shows, this unparalleled level of inequality is not being addressed by Brussels.

September 4, 2020 - Jakub Bartoszewski Michael Richter

The challenge of commemoration. Cases from Poland and Germany

The Second World War remains one of the most painful and conflicting episodes of the European nations’ memories. Present conflicts are embedded in history and in the use of history as a political tool. The cases of Poland and Germany illustrate how challenging it can be to commemorate history, especially in a politicised environment.

In Poland during the communist period and until 1989, it was nearly impossible to openly talk about the Second World War. First, due to friendship with the Soviet Union and later, after the fall of communism, Poland was busy creating its own government, introducing the democratic culture and fighting with an economic crisis in order to transform the country it became between 1989 and 2000. After this period, history and commemoration events started to play a very important role for the national and political identity of the country. Like in other Central and Eastern European states, Poland is an example of how history is used as a political tool in the museum narratives and exhibition forms, which also trigger conflicts.

September 3, 2020 - Kristina Smolijaninovaitė

The memory and experience of 1980

An interview with Cezary Obracht-Prądzyński, sociologist and professor at Gdańsk University. Interviewer: Piotr Leszczyński

PIOTR LESZCZYŃSKI: What was the phenomenon of August 1989 in Poland? What took place at that time in the Gdańsk Shipyard, and what can this experience tell us now about Polish society of that time?

CEZARY OBRACHT-PRĄDZYŃSKI: It is not easy to talk about Solidarity. We do not have one position that would allow us to interpret the events, the causes and effects of the strike – both the experience and the memory of Solidarity have been very diverse. Solidarity was a very heterogenous movement from the beginning. It is remembered differently by people who worked and lived in Gdańsk and witnessed these events, who got to see what was taking place in the shipyard. Their perspective was unlike those who lived in other parts of the country and were forced to rely on information broadcasted by state media.

August 31, 2020 - Cezary Obracht-Prondzyński Piotr Leszczyński

Cyber-enabled disinformation campaign targeted US-Poland alliance

Polish authorities have blamed Russia for a cyberattack in April, which planted forged documents and news articles on various military and news websites.

July 29, 2020 - Givi Gigitashvili

Andrzej Duda wins the Polish presidential elections

The president supported by Law and Justice comes on top with a narrow win in Poland’s election thriller.

July 14, 2020 - Daniel Gleichgewicht

Ukraine as a key to Europe’s energy security. Towards a US-Polish-Ukrainian LNG trading platform

On August 31st 2019 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Warsaw to strengthen gas security in the region through LNG supplies from the US via Polish and Ukrainian infrastructure. This formal document may lay the foundations for developing a new natural gas trading market in Europe.

Free of political barriers, access to a diverse range of energy sources is necessary for effective industrial development. European economies have become increasing concerned with energy security. This is largely the result of growing desires to end a dependence on supplies of gas and oil from the Russian Federation. The diversification of energy sources guarantees supply and promotes market liquidity. What actions should be taken in order to ensure this diversification? Will the Ukraine-Poland Interconnector and Baltic Pipe be able to guarantee a continuous supply of gas to the Polish and Ukrainian markets? What are the challenges faced by companies which manage infrastructural projects in the natural gas sector?

July 7, 2020 - Mykola Voytiv

A Jan of all trades

During COVID-19 many people started to make masks and have turned their homes into mini-mask factories. With shortages of protective gear in hospitals, the demand for these products exceeds the capacity of many sewing machines, which needed a second life. In southern Poland it was given to them by Jan Wójcik. He is the only umbrella-maker in the country and a mender of broken sewing machines.

When asked about his age, Jan Wójcik says he is a war-time baby. Indeed, he was born in 1943 in the small village of Nieczajna in southern Poland. After having finished school, Jan left home to start his education in a bigger town. He became a mechanic and got his first job in a steel factory in Kraków’s Nowa Huta metallurgy. At the time this was a new district on the city’s outskirts built by the communists for workers and their families. Its goal was to counter-balance Kraków’s bourgeois life. Jan later moved to other places and conducted his mandatory military service.

July 7, 2020 - Marta Gruszecka

Poland readies for a second round of a presidential election

After a highly contested first round, candidates Andrzej Duda and Rafał Trzaskowski will go head-to-head on July 12th for the presidency.

June 30, 2020 - Daniel Gleichgewicht

Polish and German views on Ukraine and the conflict in Donbas

You are invited to participate in the next debate in the framework of the project titled “Ost/Wschód: German-Polish Debates on the East”. This time, we want to focus on Ukraine and on the armed conflict in the Eastern part of the country. The debate will be streamed live on June 23 2020 at 18.00 CET.

June 23, 2020 - New Eastern Europe

Debate: What are Polish / German views on the East?

May 13th 2020 / 16.00 CET: We cordially invite you to take part in the inaugural debate in the framework of the project titled “Ost/Wschód: German-Polish Debates on the East”.

May 8, 2020 - New Eastern Europe

Cybersecurity Challenge PL2020 winners announced

The Bridge Foundation, organiser of the Cybersecurity Challenge PL2020 has announced the winners of the tournament. They represent four Polish voivodeships: Cyber Boat (Łódź), Cyber Power (Opole), 3 City Security (Pomerania) and Cyber Pyrki (Greater Poland).

April 30, 2020 - New Eastern Europe

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