The IV Congress of Law and Justice was held in Katowice and Sosnowiec (28-30 June 2013), under the slogan: 'Our homeland. Our future'. The character of the Congress was electoral and programmatic. The latter form was definitely more important because more and more Poles are more worried to see what is happening in the health service, administration of justice, economy, in situation of families. Poland, from which over 2.5 million people have emigrated recently and which is aging because of the demographic decline, in which every fourth Pole, who is highly educated, is unemployed - such Poland does not give the sense of security, or a chance for a personal, individual and national development. Did the Congress of the Law and Justice party give hope for any changes?

Program proposals

Opening the Congress, Jarosław Kaczyński, the chairman of the Law and Justice party, welcomed guests, among the others, a captain of great shipping, Zbigniew Sulatycki, a candidate appointed by the Law and Justice party for the prime minister of the technical government of Prof. Piotr Gliński, a chairman of the Rightist Party of the Polish Republic, Marek Jurek, and also a chairman of the NSZZ 'Solidarność' Piotr Duda. During the Congress, without notes, the chairman of the Law and Justice party has presented program propositions of the party for three times, which were full of details, and coherent. He announced, among the others, the return to the budgets financing the health service, he also presented many changes in functioning of particular ministries, including bringing back of procurators under the supervision of the government, the supervision over courts, continuing the modernization of uniformed services, liabilities of functionaries to undertake interventions, when citizens are being attacked, restoring the role of CBA as an institution established for fighting with corruption 'on the top', reforms of armed forces, which, in case of an attack, should provide a possibility to lead a long-term defence while awaiting for the support of allies.

Economy, a climate package, Open Pension Funds, agriculture, euro

In the sphere of economy, he expressed his attitude, among the others, for introducing the Program of Employment, rejected by the National Seym and created by the Law and Justice party, which should give 1.2 million work places, for housing program, for program of rebuilding marine economy.
He was persuading to reject the climate package, because - as he said - 'the Polish energetics should be based on coal', which we have in abundance at present. The European Union was not established to be an obstacle for other countries which are making up for historical delays. And this package is an obstacle - said Jarosław Kaczyński.
He referred to the matter of Open Pension Funds which resemble 'a lion's company, in which one party bears losses, and another party has benefits'. Therefore - in his opinion - in the case of the Open Pension Funds an informative campaign is necessary , and later everybody must make his own decision: Open Pension Funds or not Open Pension Funds'. He also announced stopping production of food genetically modified, because the only beneficiary of GMO are big companies. There is no agreement for re-feudalism of the Polish land - he declared and promised to start mechanisms strengthening the production of ecologically pure food, which - as he reminded - is a very strong side of the Polish agriculture. Claiming about the matters of the Polish countryside, 'about which the government does not say' he postulated compensation of payments for farmers, a bigger participation of the countryside in share of the means from the EU policy of coherence. The chairman of the Law and Justice party said that revision is required by the activity of the Polish government in the forum of the European Union in the sphere of agriculture.
The leader of the Law and Justice party also expressed his definite attitude against introducing the euro currency in Poland. Getting rid of zloty currency means getting rid of powers of the National Bank, which, indeed, means getting rid of an important instrument of the economic policy - he argued. As he added, the Law and Justice party also definitely rejects the concept of EU federalism. In his opinion, it means a loss of sovereignty for the sake of other European capital cities. In the financial sphere he opted for a change in the tax system, which is 'fatal and scandalous in every way'.

Family, education

Jarosław Kaczyński spoke about a change in the pro-family policy: there should be family bonuses, free kindergartens and tax allowances for families. He also spoke about a 'new, active, defending Polish dignity and interests' historical policy which should be supported by the Museum of History of Poland. The image of the Second World War would be changed in such a way that an exhibition would express the Polish point of view. He also announced establishment of the museums of: Western Lands and Eastern Lands.
In the sphere of education, he took on his attitude for the liquidation of junior high schools, abolition of controlling the state of pupils' knowledge through exam tests, reintroduction of vocational schools and reintroduction of history teaching in a full time. One of the optional secondary school subjects would be religion education. In every school - according to the idea of the Law and Justice party- there would also be a dentist's surgery and psycho-pedagogical consultation room.
Supporting Polish Diaspora and defence of the Polish property
The chairman of the Law and Justice party also opted for the return of means to the budget of the Senate, intended for supporting the Polish Diaspora and Poles abroad; the financial means were passed to the Foreign Ministry. In his opinion, the Foreign Ministry spends these financial means in a wrong way.
Jarosław Kaczyński put a special pressure on 'guarding the Polish property', mainly in strategic spheres, energetics, but also on maintaining control on the post office, railway, land and support of the Polish capital, especially the financial one. In this context, the chairman of the Law and Justice party speaks about re-Polonization of banks.
He also announced that it is necessary to finish exploiting Polish workers which would mean the end of junk-agreements 'in a reasonable time'. He declared that program initiatives of the Law and Justice party are also aimed at making it easy for small and medium enterprises to function. In this context he mentioned a concept of abolition for these entrepreneurs who 'violated formal provisions in various moments'. A new declaration is also a postulate of assistance, within realizing regional policy aimed at alignment of the level of development of the Silesia and Łódź, which are areas extremely destroyed by transformation.

A catalogue of mistakes

The chairman Kaczyński expressed his special thanks for support to Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, a director of Radio Maryja and independent journalists, as well as social movements and all communities, engaged in a fight about values close to the Law and Justice party, as well as for memory for his brother. He finished one of his pronouncements with a strong accent: 'The policy of the current government is a catalogue of mistakes. Poland and Poles pay for these mistakes and our future pays for these mistakes. We must stop it, we are taking responsibility, we are going on. It must be a message of the congress: the Law and Justice party is taking responsibility for Poland and is going to take over the authority'.
We can agree or not with the thesis of pronouncements of Jarosław Kaczyński, but all issues he touched on, today are the most important issues for the country. And the country - as he said- which is supposed to serve citizens, must give safety and must be morally and historically rooted.

A governance plan for Poland

The Congress had an electoral and programmatic character. Delegates participated in 13 discussion panels, conducted by prominent professors, and which were focused on: energetics, industry, health protection, justice administration, pension system, self-government, family, education, culture, emigration and place of Poland in Europe and in the world.
During the Congress of the Law and Justice party, Jarosław Kaczyński confirmed his leadership in the party and was elected for another cadency of the chairman by votes of nearly all delegates. Among 1160 votes given for Kaczyński, who was the only candidate assigned for the post of the chairman of the Law and Justice party, there were 1131 support votes of delegates, 17 votes were against, and 12 remained neutral. The elections of the chairman were a formality, but the intention was to address to the nation with the words that the Law and Justice party has a governance plan for Poland. The inauguration of the congress was preceded by laying flowers at Katowice monument of the Silesian Insurgents. At the end of the congress, after the Holy Mass, in the arch-cathedral of Katowice, flowers were laid at the monuments of Wojciech Korfanty and marshal Józef Piłsudski.

In Sosnowiec - the Law and Justice party, in Chorzów - the Civic Platform party

At the same time, a conference of the Civic Platform was held in Chorzów, which was a kind of a confrontation with the congress of the Law and Justice party. The prime minister Donald Tusk, arguing strongly with the pronouncement of Jarosław Kaczyński, even did not touch on the national issues, making everything social and technical tricks and personal attacks. And, first of all, as always, he was only making promises. And mainly about what we were going to have from EU money in a new perspective. He must have forgotten that in the former financial perspective, bad roads were built and direct executors went bankrupt.
Journalists noted the atmosphere which was at the both congresses. Politicians of the Civic Platform in the Chorzów Park of Culture and Recreation, separated from walkers with a high fence, were being protected by a police boat on a pond, helicopters, big groups of policemen with dogs, a few dozen of the civilians, and there was even a water cannons. In the congress hall there was a tense situation: many politicians were afraid that Grzegorz Schetyna would submit his candidacy as a chairman of the Civic Platform, apart from Jarosław Gowin. It was prevented by the very prime minister, proclaiming the slogan: 'Let's be like one fist!'. Showing this gesture of a clamped fist, Donald Tusk suggested that in order to maintain the authority, he would not stop at nothing.
Outside the hall of the Law and Justice party in EXPOSilesia in Sosnowiec, there was only one police car, the congress had an open formula, people could enter even from the street. In the hall there was joy, pride and growing optimism. Shortly speaking - the Law and Justice party showed unity and strong leadership, and, first of all, that it wants to take care of Poland, not of itself.


"Niedziela" 28/2013

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl