May 28, 2004

 To the President of the Republic of Poland and the political establishment

AN APPEAL from those concerned about the fate of our Country

For a considerable time now, Poland has been experiencing a deep political crisis. The parliament is losing all public respect and is unable to form a competent government. Poland certainly needs such a government now. Issues of public health care urgently need legislative solutions, without which millions of citizens will be deprived of basic medical care. Public finances are on the verge of collapse. We are not fully prepared to receive and take advantage of the resources which we could obtain from the European Union. Any significant reduction in the unemployment rate will only occur if radical steps be taken.

Each day of prolonging this state of uncertainty and suspension exacerbates the political and material damage. The lack of any moral judgment in the face of blatant disregard for the rule of law deepens the feeling of social helplessness and generates a climate that fosters populism.

Therefore:

We appeal to all political factions in Poland, to all political parties, and to the President of the Republic, to consider most seriously the worsening social climate and the crisis of confidence in political institutions and in politicians, which threatens to result in an inevitable crisis of the whole country.

We appeal for the formation, as quickly as possible, of a government of experts about whose honesty and competence there will be no doubts. That government, in a period of no longer than several months, should prepare the most urgent legislative proposals which would put in order the above-named fundamental problems facing the country. The parliament should pass this legislation, and then should accept a previously agreed-upon declaration of self-dissolution.

We appeal finally for the establishment, as quickly as possible, of new principles of parliamentary representation, based on majority vote in single-candidate districts, the presentation of such principles for national discussion, and then undertaking efforts to bring the necessary amendments – limited to this one issue – to the constitution. So that in the future we may avoid the errors whose effects we so painfully experience today.

All of this should become – we are deeply convinced – the subject of a special, non-partisan contract for Poland.

Warsaw, May 28, 2004

  • Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, historian, former Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Stefan Bartkowski, publicist, Honorary President of the Society of Polish Journalists
  • Prof. Antoni Kaminski, sociologist, Political Studies Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN)
  • Ryszard Kapuscinski, writer
  • Maciej Lukasiewicz, editor-in-chief of “Rzeczpospolita”
  • Jan Nowak-Jezioranski, wartime “Courier from Warsaw”, former Director of the Polish Section of Radio Free Europe
  • Prof. Jezry Kloczowski, Institute of Central-Eastern Europe, head of the Polish UNESCO Committee
  • Prof. Witold Kiezun, long-time expert in organization and management at the UN
  • Prof. Edmund Wnuk-Lipinski, sociologist, Institute of National Remembrance, PAN, Collegium Civitatis
  • Prof. Jerzy Pomianowski, writer, editor-in-chief of “Nowa Polsza”
  • Prof. Marek Rocki, Rector of the Warsaw Adademy of Economics
  • Prof. Jerzy Szacki, sociologist, historian of social thought, University of Warsaw
  • Prof. Lukasz Turski, Center of Theoretical Physics, PAN
  • Prof. Stanislaw Weglenski, Rector of the University of Warsaw
  • Prof. Waclaw Wilczynski, economist, Economic Academy of Poznan
  • Stefan Wilkanowicz, publicist, Vice-President of the International Auschwitz Committee
  • Prof. Franciszek Ziejak, Rector of Jagiellonian University

Translation from Polish: Thaddeus Mirecki
Used by permission of the Publisher