Former ministers of foreign affairs and national defense of Poland wrote an open letter to the government regarding lex anti-TVN. They called for “an end to hostile action against US investors” and “respect for fundamental values - democracy, the rule of law and freedom of speech.”
The letter was signed by former foreign ministers: Andrzej Olechowski, Dariusz Rosati, Radosław Sikorski and Grzegorz Schetyna, and former ministers of national defense: Janusz Onyszkiewicz, Bronisław Komorowski, Bogdan Klich and Tomasz Siemoniak.
Lex anti-TVN. “Our independence is at stake”
“As the ministers of foreign affairs and national defense serving the Republic of Poland in the past, and with a sense of special responsibility for its security, we express our utmost concern about the actions of the government camp aimed at weakening allied ties with the United States,” they wrote.
They stated that “the last three decades of our independence and freedom are closely related to US support and accession to the North Atlantic Alliance.” They also pointed out that “the security, democracy and freedom of Polish citizens depend on the continuation of friendship, alliance and partnership with the United States, regardless of who currently governs both countries.”
According to the signatories of the letter, “the foundation of these relations is the US military and economic presence in Poland, for which successive governments have sought and which they are obliged to protect.”
“We call on the present government to cease hostile actions against American investors and to respect the basic values shared by Poland-friendly Western countries – democracy, the rule of law and freedom of speech. Our future is at stake, our independence is at stake,” wrote the former heads of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Defense.
In early July, a group of Law and Justice deputies submitted to the Sejm a draft amendment to the Broadcasting Act. Commentators agree that the changes are aimed at TVN’s independence. Parliamentary committee on culture and media adopted the draft on July 27 and sent it for further work.
Among other things, they protested against the changes in the media law American senators (Democrats and Republicans). In a joint statement, they warned the Polish government that the adoption of the amendment may adversely affect business, trade and defense relations between Poland and the US. Senators expressed concern about the “erosion of democracy” by the Polish government, which has recently manifested itself through “efforts to undermine independent media.”
TVN24 is still awaiting extension by the National Broadcasting Council concessionswhich expires on September 26. An application for its extension was submitted in February 2020. KRRiT claims that the problem lies in the “ownership situation” of the TVN group. The station’s management wrote in a statement that in 2015 the National Broadcasting Council accepted the entry of American capital into TVN. Since 2016 – under the same ownership conditions – KRRiT has already issued licenses for TVN24 BiS, TTV and TVN International West.
Main photo source: TVN / Krzysztof Dubiel