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How the Government “Consults” new Acts

Opublikowane 23/05/12 o godz.06:25 w kategorii English.
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Polish law requires that before certain draft bills are sent to the Parliament, they have to be “consulted” with the appropriate organizations. By “consulted”, that usually means that you send your opinion. If it is different than what the government wants to achieve, they usually ignore it.

These “consultations” often involve entities with completely conflicting interests. In reference to this specific bill, 40 organizations were sent the draft. Of these 40 organizations, only the Tenants Defense Committee was an authentic tenants organization!

The government would quickly disagree, as there are actually about 10 organizations on the list related to housing. Most of them are related to owners of cooperative housing. Of the couple of other organizations which have “tenants” in their name, we see that they include ones that exist only on paper and, we suppose, to positively assess ammendments. This is what one of these “tenants organizations” did last time, postively assessing an ammendment which would enable mass evictions.

Other “social organizations” with are asked for their opinions include the National Bank of Poland, the Union of Polish Banks, the National Economic Bank, the National Economic Chamber, the Polish Union of Development Firms, the Polish Association of Real Estate Agents, the National Notary Chamber, the Polish Confederation of Employers, the Leviathan Confederation of Private Employers, the Business Center Club, the Federation of Real Estate Economy, the Polish Union of Property Owners and the Institute of Real Estate Economy. There are more business institutions to be consulted than organizations of tenants or, in the case of the cooperatives, owners of flats. And the only operative tenant organization which was asked, was ours.

All clear? But in this scheme, you are damned if you answer but also damned if you don’t, because if you DON’T send an opinion…. the Ministry writes that you accepted it.

In this case, we need to say loud and clear that we do not agree with what they have in store for tenants.

Another strange fact about the process is that these bills are also sent to the 3 tri-partite unions: but they have a longer time period for answering. Why a trade union gets longer time to answer than a tenants organization about an act concerning tenants is beyond us.

We are publishing our criticism of the bill far and wide and hoping that tenants will organize some response. And in publishing this criticism, we try to expose the farsical nature of such consultations.

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