Polish Ultra-Conservative Organisation Ordo Iuris Wants to Curtail NGOs

Civil Society Next on Government’s Plate, Following the Path of Hungary and Russia

6 May 2021

The decline of democracy in Poland is a reality attested by both lived experience and thorough analyses. Terms such as democratic backsliding, semi-authoritarian countries and illiberalism are well settled into the vernacular. At the same time, the actors that stand behind the decline of democracy in Poland continue to employ Putinist and Orbánist strategies. They are now laying the groundwork for legislation likely to target Polish civil society.

On 26 April 2021, the Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture, an ultra-conservative legal think-tank with personal ties to the ruling party PiS and a significant political influence, published a statement accompanied by a request to support their petition advocating for “introducing legal changes that would ensure transparency of foreign funding of NGOs.” The ‘legal initiative’ targeting civil society is at the moment just a petition with barely 450 signatures.

However, Ordo Iuris has a go-getter mindset and a successful track record of pushing for ‘legal initiatives’ that align with the interests of ultra-conservative populists – it is the same institution that pushed for a complete abortion ban in Poland or advocated against anti-discrimination education in schools.

No doubt that should the right moment come, Ordo Iuris will have the capacity and reach to collect enough signatures and push the project through the necessary legislative process, getting a big step closer to possible repressions of civic society organisations by the state.

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Marysia Ciupka

Visegrad Insight Junior Fellow

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