The journalists of “Gazeta Wyborcza” described how the former assistants of Solidarna Polska MP Maria Kurowska from Solidarna Polska reached for grants, among others, from the National Freedom Institute, which was established on the initiative of Minister Piotr Gliński. According to the authors, assistants from government institutions “collected almost PLN 1.3 million” – it was reported.
“Gazeta Wyborcza” – describing the case of the “assistants plus” program – reported that former councilors of the Podkarpacie youth council Adrian Mokrzycki, Rafał Smalara and Mateusz Węgrzyn, working as assistants to Maria Kurowska – a member of the PiS coalition, Solidarna Polska – “established or took over” foundations and association, “reaching for public grants from the Erasmus+ program and the National Institute of Freedom, which was established on the initiative of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture Piotr Gliński“.
It was reported that all three of them have been working in the Activity Foundation since October 2021, which has been operating for seven years, but – due to various problems, including the lack of “larger grants” – they lost their leaders.
“Węgrzyn and Mokrzycki, as new presidents in 2021, supplement the foundation’s goals with, among others, ‘promoting patriotic figures’, ‘increasing historical knowledge’. And they go for a grant to the National Freedom Institute “- described “Wyborcza”, adding that they received ” almost 150,000 for the development of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship in terms of youth civic organizations.
Money – as we read – they also received from the Erasmus + program. It is about PLN 190,000. The funds were to be allocated by the politicized state foundation FRSE (Foundation for the Development of the Education System).
“The Activity Foundation is applying for more grants from the NIW – its latest projects are valued at over PLN 1.1 million” – informs “GW”.
“Some of their foundations and associations have a patriotic flair”
The newspaper reported that Mokrzycki became an assistant to Maria Kurowska in January 2021. At that time, Smalara and Węgrzyn had already performed these functions for “almost a year”. All of them ceased to be formal assistants in March, i.e. at the time when the scandal was described villa pls, focusing on describing the subsidy of the head of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Przemysław Czarnek, for organizations associated with PiS.
However, resignation from duties at the MP’s side did not stop the activity of Mokrzycki, Smalara and Węgrzyn.
“The court records show that some of their foundations and associations have a patriotic flair. They themselves are associated with the Independent Service, which is generously supported by NIW subsidies” – it was written in “Wyborcza”. It was described as a foundation “which has the opinion of a right-wing forge of personnel. The Service itself presents itself as a community of pro-state patriots who want to promote the idea of an efficient and sovereign state based on a Christian foundation.”
Applications for “PLN 2.77 million of funding”
According to the newspaper, Mokrzycki, Smalara and Węgrzyn previously earned on orders from Foundation Polska Wielki Projektthe Fresh Bazylia agency, which served Congress 590 associated with the PiS environment, or from the ministries of justice, as well as internal affairs and administration.
As noted, at the beginning of 2019 they were active in the Association of Civil Dialogue and Activation “Soda”, which they registered with the National Institute of Freedom and received PLN 724,000 in funding. “To this day, Soda’s website does not contain the association’s authorities, registered office address, contact information” – it was written on the “GW” portal.
Now – as we read – Mokrzycki, Smalara and Węgrzyn are in five non-governmental organizations and apply in subsequent competitions of the National Freedom Institute. Among the applications – as the daily mentioned – is the Podkarpackie Institute, which wants PLN 550,000 for the Zacisze Seniora project, or the Góra Liwocz Association, which applies for PLN 151,000 for “watchdog activities and civic media”.
In total, as stated, it is PLN 2.77 million in funding.
The newspaper contacted Mokrzycki, asking “where did the rush to multiply foundations and associations come from?” – I do nothing that is against the law or custom or good conduct – journalists heard. “Mokrzycki claims that he has not been working with MP Kurowska for a year. Because he does not associate the future with politics. He cannot say why Smalara and Węgrzyn also resigned on the same day as him,” they reported.
They also informed that in the fall of 2022, Mokrzycki and Węgrzyn registered two companies, “day after day”, “with the same address”, oscillating, among others, around the subject of “human relations and communication”.
Maria Kurowska is the former mayor of Jasło and the former deputy marshal of Podkarpacie. In 2011, she unsuccessfully ran for the Sejm, and in 2014 – also unsuccessfully – for the European Parliament. In the local government elections in 2014, she was elected as a councilor in the Podkarpackie Regional Assembly, and in 2018 she successfully applied for re-election. In 2019, she unsuccessfully ran for the EP. Until the same year, in the parliamentary elections, she got to the Sejm from the PiS list.
Main photo source: Paweł Supernak/PAP