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Parliament will this week discuss legislation proposed by MPs from the ruling party that would exempt officials from punishment for breaking the law if they did so as part of efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. It would apply retroactively, to actions already undertaken. This would be a dangerous move, undermining important legal principles and potentially facilitating corruption.
When corruption is ingrained in the political system and concentrated among the political elites, it becomes less noticeable to citizens. But this does not mean that there is no negative impact on their lives. The consequences are limited access to independent judges and media, as well as inequalities in the availability of specific resources – civil service positions, state grants or subsidies.
With its liberal system of issuing temporary work permits, Poland has become the European and global leader in terms of the influx of short-term labour from abroad. For the last two years running, it has issued more first residence permits to non-EU immigrants than any other member state, and it has the most temporary labour migrants of any OECD state.