The Polish EU enlargement debate (manual)
Ratusz underground station, Warsaw

ESI Manual: The Polish EU enlargement debate. Information and contacts (March 2009)

Both a clear majority of Poland’s population and its political elite support further EU enlargement. Support for Turkish EU membership, however, is lower than for the Western Balkans and not based on any strong convictions or principles.

This manual introduces key individuals who shape the enlargement debate in this enlargement-friendly new member state which will play an crucial role when it will preside over the EU in 2011. It provides an thorough overview of key people in the Polish media, the think tank and academic scenes as well as in government. On nearly 60 pages you find information and contact details of over 200 individuals in close to 80 institutions. Download the manual, or first have a look a the examples below.

TV in Poland

Telewizja Polska – Polish Television (TVP)

“Polish electronic media are at a crucial moment of their development… With dwindling income from the licence fee…fierce fighting for advertising revenue, and TVP losing its younger, more educated and wealthier viewers, the future looks bleak for Polish public service broadcasting.”

Open Society Institute report: TV across Europe 2008: Poland

Poland’s public station Telewizja Polska – TVP used to have the reputation of being the best TV station in post-communist Europe. It still remains the most popular TV station in Poland. TVP1 has an audience share of 24 per cent. The second channel TVP2 has a 16.5 per cent share. Adding in the other TVP channels, TVP can still command close to half the audience. But there is a growing private TV sector – the top two commercial channels Polsat and TVN have 14 per cent and 13.4 per cent respectively, according to TNS OBOP (January 2009).

However, TVP’s reputation is now rather diminished as it goes through one of its periodic political crises. Piotr Farfał from the far right League of Polish Families (LPR) seized control from Andrzej Urbański, an appointee of the previous PiS Government, in December 2008. Farfał says he is the President of TVP on a temporary basis. Given his reputation – based on his ultra-nationalist background in his younger days – Farfał’s putsch shocked many. A change-over of over 50 managers is under way as PiS appointees are removed.

“Political pressure and bias have always been commonplace at the Polish public-service broadcaster Telewizja Polska (TVP),” Marius Dragomir, of the Open Society Institute’s Media Programme, wrote in European Voice on March 4 2009 . He continued:”There was, though, a time between 2004 and 2006 when the station showed more pluralism and professionalism, primarily the journalists who contributed to its prime-time newscast Wiadomości. As well as coinciding with EU accession, that was a period when TVP was managed by a former BBC journalist. But such people, it seems, cannot stay long in such prominent positions in Poland’s public-service media – their management and governing structures change as the political wind blows. The chapters of TVP’s history are crammed with changes at the station’s top, most of them dictated by politics.”

TVP’s future funding is also the subject of intense debate in Parliament. The government’s plan to replace licence fees with a subsidy from VAT payments is being opposed by the left-of-centre SLD party. Without SLD support, the proposed law may not be able to overturn an expected presidential veto. Under the proposed law TVP will continue to carry advertising, but it will be required to operate within a tighter public service remit than at present.

As well as mainstream channels TVP and TVP2, Polish TV also broadcasts TVP Info (a news channel), TVP Polonia (a satellite channel for Poles overseas), TVP Kultura (a prestigious arts and music channel), a history channel (TVP Historia), and TVP Sport. There are also 16 regional stations throughout the country.

The main TVP News programmes:

Wiadomości – news bulletins are shown on TVP 1 at 08:00; 12:00; 15:00; with the main news at 19:30. Wiadomości is the second most popular news programme, watched on average by just over 5 million viewers.

Jarosław Grzelak remains director of the News Department (known as TAI – Television Information Agency), which produces news for TVP 1 & 2 and TVP Info.

Dorota Macieja is the Editor of Wiadomości


Michał Adamczyk, tel. + (32) 2 230 8478/231 1334

Joanna Wajda specialises in political and international subjects especially EU and US affairs, covering EU summits and international visits of the president and prime minister. E-mail:

Foreign Correspondent Piotr Górecki, based in Warsaw, has a long experience of working in the Balkans. E-mail:

Teleexpress at 17:00 is a popular 15 minute news show on weekdays. It is on the first place in the It is the most popular information programs. In January 2009 it had an average of 5.93 million viewers.

Presenters: Maciej Orłoś and Beata Chmielowska-Olech.

Kwadrans po ósmej (Quarter past eight), an interview show – often with 3 newsmakers. It is shown at 08:15 from Mondays to Friday. Presenters: Maciej Zdziarski and Justyna Dobrosz.       

The main news programme on TVP 2 – Panorama is shown at 09:30 and 18:30.

Małgorzata Łopińska is the Panorama editor.

Foreign Desk:
Jacek Biernacki     
Anna Waśkiewicz


Tomasz Lis is one of the most popular TV journalists. He rejoined TVP in February 2008 to present Tomasz Lis Live – the top TV political discussion show, where he interviews the main political figures. It goes out on Mondays at 21:40 on TVP 2. He first joined TVP as newsreader and worked for three years as a correspondent in Washington D.C. Tomasz Lis also worked as newscaster for the main commercial channels, TVN and Polsat. His book, “Co z tą Polską?” (“What’s with Poland?”), became a bestseller, selling over 100,000 copies.


TVP Info is TVP’s continuous news channel. It runs hourly national news bulletins from 07:30 to 22:30. It also runs regional programming from TVP’s 16 regional stations and covers the parliament.

Janusz Sejm is Head of News at TVP Info.

Magda Walczak is the Brussels Correspondent. Email:

Komentarz świat (World Commentary) is broadcast weekdays at 1715. The presenter is Piotr Chęciński. It is a quite well-respected foreign news-analysis programme covering EU related issues and world news.

7 dni świat (7 Days in the World), headed by Andrzej Turski, one of the best-known TVP presenters, is about to return to TV two years after it was removed. Andrzej Turski was a senior executive at TAI and at Polish Radio in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Until recently he presented Panorama.

Studio Wschód – (Studio East) is a weekly information program on Saturdays at 17:30. It has an audience of 600,000. It covers Eastern Europe and such issues as international security, energy, and politics. Maria Przełomiec a former BBC radio journalist is editor and presenter of the program. She also writes for Dziennik, Wprost and for the Catholic media. E-mail:


Gazeta Wyborcza

ul.Czerska 8/10
00-732 Warszawa

The liberal centre-left Gazeta Wyborcza is the most read serious daily and second bestselling paper. It began as the “Election Gazette”, originally based in a hastily converted schoolroom, during Poland’s first free Parliamentary elections in 1989. GW is now located in a high-tech newsroom. It is the flagship of the Agora Company, which also owns magazines, the Internet portal, and several radio stations.

Like all the Polish media, the owners of Gazeta Wyborcza face strong commercial pressures. Advertising revenue fell by 10.7 million zlotys year on year to November 2008 (though GW still has the largest ad revenues of any daily). GW’s paid circulation of 374,000 in November 2008 was 13 per cent lower than a year before. (Figures from Warsaw Business Journal 2/2/09) 7.5 per cent of Agora’s workforce – some 300 staff, including some prominent names – was due to be laid off by April 2009, the company announced in January 2009.

Adam Michnik is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Gazeta Wyborcza. In the eighties he was one of the leading organizers of the democratic opposition. He is known as a historian, essayist, and the country’s pre-eminent political publicist. He is also the symbol of the round table negotiations which led to Poland’s first non-communist government 20 years ago.

However, due to Adam Michnik’s many engagements on a day to day basis Gazeta Wyborcza is now headed by the paper’s team of deputy editors, the most senior of which is Jarosław Kurski. (His brother Jacek Kurski is one of the leaders of PiS.)

Bartosz Węglarczyk is the foreign editor. He is a former correspondent in Moscow, Brussels and Washington. Tel. 48 (22) 555 4338. Foreign desk:

Konrad Niklewicz is a former Brussels correspondent from 2005 – 2007 and in 2000-2001 – a correspondent in Paris. He is one of the country’s most respected writers on EU and economic issues.

Jacek Pawlicki has also worked in Brussels and is regarded as one of the best-informed writers on foreign affairs and EU related issues.

The Brussels Correspondent is Dominika Pszczółkowska, who is developing a strong reputation for her coverage over the past year. E-mail:

Konstanty Gebert (or Dawid Warszawski) is one of the country’s best known commentators. In the 1990’s he worked extensively on the Western Balkans. He still writes occasionally on Balkan issues for GW. He also writes a regular column under his nom de plume, called “Weather Forecast.” He wrote about the political situation in Bosnia on 22 January 2009.

Marcin Wojciechowski reported from the Western Balkans during the NATO air campaign and the fall of Slobodan Miloševic in 1999 and 2000. He is now a noted specialist on Russian and Ukrainian politics.

Agnieszka Skiterska writes for Gazeta Wyborcza and Rzeczpospolita on BiH, Kosovo, Serbia, and Macedonia. She has her own web-page of photos and texts on the Western Balkans in English and Polish.



Centre for International Relations (Centrum Stosunków Międzynarodowych – CSM)

Emilii Plater 25
00-688 Warsaw

CSM was founded in the mid 1990s. It covers German-Polish relations, trans-Atlantic relations, Eastern Policy, the Weimar Triangle, the Visegrad Group, and migration. Research also covers climate change, development, human rights, and lately, CAP.

CSM is also interested in future EU-enlargement, including the West Balkans. It held a conference in April 2008 on the Polish and German policy on future enlargement of the EU. In spring 2009 CSM is launching a new project entitled “Communicating Europe”, focusing on bringing together media owners and decision-makers from the Western Balkans. It is the co-organiser of the March 2009ESI Communicating Europe workshop.

President: Eugeniusz Smolar. He is a former head of the Polish section of the BBC World Service. He was also active in helping the Workers’ Defence Committee (KOR) and other democratic opposition groups in Poland, later Solidarity, as well as underground publications. After his return to Poland in 1997 he became member of the Management Board of Polish public radio. In October 2005 he became the President of the Centre for International Relations. Tel: +48 (22) 646 5267. Email:

Andrzej Bobiński is Programme Director. He has previously worked with a number of Polish NGOs and think-tanks, including the Institute of Public Affairs, The Polish Federation of NGOs, and The School for Leaders Association. He collaborated with Time magazine and worked for The Guardian and The Observer. He is one of the co-founders of Article 61, the first vote-smart initiative in Poland. Email:

Krystyna Iglicka is an economist and a social demographer. She is a Professor at the Lazarski School of Commerce and Law, and a Polish government expert on migration policy. Her research areas include strategies and mechanisms of emigration in the CEE region, labour mobility, East-West European migration, immigration and integration models, EU immigration policy, patterns of return migration, brain-drain and the mobility of highly skilled labour.

Tel: +48 (22) 646 52 67, 646 52 68. Email:

Łukasz Stawikowski is running CSM’s EU-funded project called Communicating Europe which aims to engage media decision-makers in the Western Balkans. Email:

Wojciech Borodzicz-Smoliński is the Co-ordinator of the Eastern Programme. His main focus is on Belarus and Ukraine. Recent projects include: Belarusian School of Journalism (2005-2008),,, European Radio for Belarus.

demosEuropa – Center for European Strategy

ul. Idźkowskiego 4/6
Tel: +48 (22) 401 70 26       

demosEuropa is a new think-tank, which has already gained a pre-eminent reputation on the EU policy agenda for its innovative approach. It has a strongly pro-European stance. Unlike most other think-tanks in Poland demosEuropa co-operates with the private sector and receives funding from major Polish and foreign companies. demosEuropa aims to look over the horizon at future issues. There are 5 main strands to demosEuropa’s work: the future of the European Union, the Union and the Citizen, the EU economy, EU in the World and enlargement. Sustainability and new approaches to climate change is a growing theme.

President: Paweł Świeboda is one of the country’s most dynamic analysts of EU policies. He worked as advisor to the President of Poland on EU issues from 1996-2000. He then headed the Office for European Integration in the Chancellery of the President. From 2001-2006 he was Director of the EU Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Email:

Maria Sadowska is head of the Europe in the World programme. She specializes in management and communication strategies. E-mail:

ESI Manual: The Polish EU enlargement debate. Information and contacts (March 2009

27 March 2009