Pole Position: King Coal and Istanbul Convention on the menu

This edition of Pole Position with Łukasz Warzecha (Do Rzeczy) and Agaton Koziński (Polska the Times) looks at government attempts to reform the coal industry and Poland considering pulling out from the Istanbul Convention on domestic violence.

Analysis: Government walking on eggshells over coal

The government’s plans to reform the coal industry have not gone down well in Silesia. After meetings between the government and miners leaders...

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The government’s proposal to close four mines was always going to be controversial. Coal accounts for over 70 percent of Poland’s energy mix. The country mines it in Silesia and imports it from Russia. The issue of how many of the coal mines are actually economical has returned again. And this always makes waves in Silesia. Coal miners were Poland’s labour elite in the days of communism and they remain important to this day. Tightly knit communities, unionised and vociferous. But the government is confronted with increasing international pressure to reduce dependence on coal in order to achieve climate neutrality which is a central EU goal. This means that Poland needs to increase its capacity in renewable energy as well as finally to build atomic power stations.

PM wants Constitutional Tribunal to examine Istanbul Convention

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The Polish government is seriously considering withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention on domestic violence. It may be doing so despite the fact that its own legislation and practice are some of the toughest in Europe and the world. The reason is that the government and its political allies intensely disapprove at some ideological statements contained in the document. Statements such as those which claim that gender is a socio-cultural issue and passages which regard the Catholic Church and the traditional family as potential roots of domestic violence against women. The government’s deliberations are accompanied by protests from women’s rights groups and the Left who argue that such a withdrawal would be negative for combating domestic violence in Poland.