Row Over Central Bank Shows Rolling Back State Capture In Poland Will Not Be Easy 

Governor Adam Glapiński seeks the support of EU and U.S. institutions, claiming that any attempt to remove him over his political activities would endanger central bank independence

15 December 2023

Adam Jasser

Deputy Managing Editor

The Polish democratic alliance won the October elections on a promise to restore the independence of politically captured state institutions, including the National Bank of Poland, whose governor is mounting an international campaign to avert a probe into his conduct.

For two decades since the collapse of communism in 1990, the National Bank of Poland had built a reputation for professionalism and independence, which anchored economic stability and the trust of domestic and foreign investors. That changed in 2016 when the bank became a spoil of victory in an authoritarian revolution staged by the Law and Justice (PiS) upon winning both the presidential and parliamentary elections the year before.

Restoring the bank’s credibility and independence was a key promise of newly appointed Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who now weighs how to go about this task in a way that will guarantee due process and adherence to democratic accountability norms.

Replacing “deep state” with party faithful  

PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński has never been fond of curbs on political power by the independent judiciary as well as other institutions that form checks and balances of a modern democratic state.

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Adam Jasser

Deputy Managing Editor

Since 2021, Adam has co-hosted a foreign policy podcast “About the World at Onet” for Poland’s leading web portal onet.pl. He has worked as a business and policy consultant, including with the World Bank on competition, privatisation and regulatory reforms in transition economies. In 2014-16, Adam was head of the Polish competition authority. He served as Secretary of State in the Chancellery of Prime Minister Donald Tusk in 2010-14. He was Secretary of the PM’s Economic Council and oversaw the analytical and policy impact assessment department. Before joining the government, Adam was Programme Director at Warsaw-based think-tank demosEuropa – Centre for European Strategy. Earlier, he spent almost 20 years at Reuters news agency, in roles stretching from translator and head of economic reporting in Warsaw, to bureau chief in Frankfurt and regional editor for central Europe, Balkans and Turkey.

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