Media Regulations: Poland
CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND
ORGANS OF STATE CONTROL AND FOR DEFENSE OF RIGHTS
The National Broadcasting Council
Article 213. 1. The National Broadcasting Council shall safeguard the
freedom of speech, the right to information as well as safeguard the public
interest regarding radio and television broadcasting
2. The National Broadcasting Council shall issue regulations and, in individual
cases, adopt resolutions.
Article 214. 1. The members of the National Broadcasting Council shall be
appointed by the Sejm, the Senate and the President of the Republic.
2. A member of the National Broadcasting Council shall not belong to a political
party, a trade union or perform public activities incompatible with the dignity
of his function.
adopted by the Polish Parliament on December 29, 1992.
(unofficial consolidated text incorporating amendments promulgated in
Chapter I General Provisions
1. The tasks of radio and television broadcasting shall be:
1) to provide information,
3a) to disseminate civil education,
Chapter III Radio and Television Programme Services
5. Subject to the reservations contained in paragraph 6, programmes or other
broadcasts may not be sponsored by:
1) political parties,
6. Sports events coverage may not be sponsored by entities referred to in
paragraph 5 subparagraphs 1-3 and by (…).
7. Sponsorship of the following programmes shall be prohibited:
1) news, with the exception of sports and weather forecasts,
2) commentaries on social and political topics,
3) consumer and practical advice programmes,
4) electoral programmes or programmes directly related to electoral
Chapter IV Public Radio and Television
1. Public radio and television broadcasting organizations shall enable political
parties to present their position with regard to major public issues.
2. The provision of paragraph 1 shall apply correspondingly to national trade
unions and employers’ organizations.
3. The National Council shall determine, by a regulation, the manner of
implementation of the obligations referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2.
1. Political parties and other organisations participating in elections to the
Sejm, the Senate and local self-government shall be entitled to transmit
election programmes in the public radio and television programme services on
terms determined in separate provisions.
The provision of paragraph 1 shall apply respectively to the election of the
President of the Republic of Poland.
b) The following excerpts from the Law on Elections of the Sejm illustrate
the way the electoral campaign is regulated. Article 14 of the law includes
the timing of the campaign,
the duration of the campaign,
the various forms it can take,
its financing and the modalities for exercising one’s electoral rights .
Public broadc asters are under an obligation to broadcast programmes of
political communication free of charge. Provisions for the criteria and the
allocation of time are made by electoral committees. All broadcasters should
eventually broadcast paid election programmes.
Specific treatment is prescribed for the publication of false information.
Here a distinction is made between that information included in party electoral
material and that published in the press. Each case is regulated in a different
Official Journal „Dziennik Ustaw” of 2001, No. 124 item 1360
REGULATION OF THE NATIONAL BROADCASTING COUNCIL
18 September, 2001,
Concerning procedures related to the presentation of standpoints with regard
to crucial public issues by political parties, trade unions and unions of
employers in public radio and television
Under Article 23 item 3 of the Broadcasting Act of 29 December 1992 (official
journal "Dziennik Ustaw" of 2001, No 101, item 1114) the following is
§ 1. 1. Public radio and television broadcasting organisations shall
reliably present, analyse and discuss standpoints represented with regard to
crucial public issues by political parties, national organisations of trade
unions and unions of employers.
2. Public radio and television broadcasting organisations shall fulfil the
obligation referred to in item 1 in a manner which enables the presentation of
3. Public broadcasting organisations which transmit national programme services
shall inform about the work of supreme organs of political parties, national
organisations of trade unions and unions of employers with regard to crucial
§ 2. 1. The Polish Television Telewizja Polska S.A. and the Polish
Radio Polskie Radio S.A. shall produce and transmit programmes enabling
political parties to present their standpoints with regard to crucial
public issues .
2. The said programmes shall last at least 45 minutes and shall be broadcast in
Channel I of the Polish Television and Channel I of the Polish Radio once a
week, between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m.
3. The Management Boards of the Polish Television Telewizja Polska S.A.
and of the Polish Radio Polskie Radio S.A. shall divide the transmission
time allocated for the programme amongst the entitled political parties in
proportion to the number of votes obtained by them in parliamentary [Sejm]
4. The right to participate in the programme shall be exercised by political
1) set up an independent electoral committee and whose district lists of
candidates for parliamentary deputies obtained, on a nation-wide scale, at least
3% of votes cast in a valid manner,
2) took part in the electoral coalition, whose district lists of candidates for
parliamentary deputies collected, on a nation-wide scale, at least 6% of votes
cast in a valid manner, in the parliamentary [Sejm] elections held on 23
5. The transmission time allotted to political parties ref erred to in item 4
point 2 shall be awarded to the electoral coalition. The transmission time
allotted to the electoral coalition may be used by:
1) jointly by political parties constituting the coalition, represented during
the programme by a common representative or representatives, or
2) separately by each of the political parties constituting the coalition in
proportions defined in the coalition founding agreement for the purpose of
dividing the grant referred to in Article 28 of the Act dated 27 June 1997 on
Political Parties (official journal “Dz.U.”
of 2001, No. 79, item 857).
6. The decision concerning the manner of using the transmission time referred to
in item 5 shall be made by the statutory governing bodies of the political
parties. The governing bodies of the parties shall inform the Management Boards
of the Polish Television Telewizja Polska S.A. and of the Polish Radio
Polskie Radio S.A. about the changes in the use of the transmission time one
month in advance.
7. The transmission time allotted to political parties which underwent a fusion
after the elections held on 23 September 2001 shall be given to the part created
as a result of the said fusion.
8. The use of the transmission time shall be accounted for separately for each
9. The Polish Television Telewizja Polska S.A. and the Polish Radio
Polskie Radio S.A. shall produce programmes in consultation with the
plenipotentiaries of the political parties referred to in item 4. In case
of a joint use of the transmission time by political parties referred to
in item 4, point 2, these parties shall appoint a joint plenipotentiary.
§ 3. The Polish Television Telewizja Polska S.A. and the Polish
Radio Polskie Radio S.A. shall produce and transmit a periodical current
affairs programme dedicated to political events in the country.
§ 4. The Polish Television Telewizja Polska S.A. and the Polish
Radio Polskie Radio S.A. shall provide current information regarding the
work of the Parliament (Sejm) and the Senate in the programming form
decided upon in agreement with the presidium of the Parliament (Sejm) and
of the Senate.
§ 5. 1. The provisions of this Regulation shall not infringe upon
prerogatives to transmit electoral programmes given by virtue of separate
provisions to political parties or other organisations participating in
elections to the Parliament (Sejm), the Senate, the Office of the President of
the Republic of Poland and territorial self-government.
2. During the electoral campaign preceding the elections, referred to in item 1,
the public radio and television broadcasting organisations shall be obliged to
prepare separate programmes enabling political parties to present their
3. The programmes referred to in § 2 shall not be transmitted during the period
of transmission of electoral broadcasts.
§ 6. The National Broadcasting Council in consultation with competent
programming councils shall periodically assess the fulfilment of the obligations
binding upon the public radio and television broadcasting organisations under
§ 7. The Regulation of the National Broadcasting Council of 13 May 1994
concerning procedures related to the presentation of standpoints with regard to
crucial public issues by political parties, trade unions and unions of employers
in public radio and
television (official journal “Dz.U.” No 74, item 335; of 1996, No 10, item 59;
of 1997, No 9, item 50; of 1998, No 25, item 146) shall become null and void.
§ 8. The Regulation shall take effect within fourteen days after its
Chairman of the National Broadcasting Council Juliusz Braun
Official Gazette ‘Dziennik Ustaw’ of 1998, No. 118 item 769
REGULATION OF THE NATIONAL BROADCASTING COUNCIL of 1 September 1998
Concerning procedures related to the division of free broadcasting time,
preparation, emission and information about emission time before elections to
borough, county, and voivodeship councils.
(Official Gazette “Dz.U.” of 10 September 1998) 39
Under article 77, item 3 of the Act of 16 July 1998 concerning election laws
for borough, county, and voivodeship councils (Official Gazette ‘Dziennik
Ustaw’, No. 95, item 602), the following is hereby ordered:
§ 1. The election programmes shall be broadcast free of charge on
regional and national channels of Polish Television ‘Telewizja Polska-Spólka
Akcyjna’, below referred to as ‘Telewizja Polska’, and in regional programmes
transmitted by regional public broadcasting companies, below referred to as
‘regional broadcasting companies’, and also on national programmes of Polish
Radio ‘Polskie Radio-Spólka Akcyjna’, below referred to as ‘Polskie Radio’,
during the period from the 15th day before the elections until the end of the
§ 2.1. For the necessities of broadcasting the election programmes, the
areas of regional programme transmission on Polish Television-‘Telewizja Polska’
are established according to Appendix 1, and the areas of emission of regional
programmes by individual regional broadcasting companies are established in
2. At the request of interested election committees for broadcasting
programmes in the electoral districts situated on the borders of the areas
defined in the appendices mentioned in item 1, the National Broadcasting Council
may allow the transmission of election programmes from the neighbouring area if
it is justified by better programme reception quality.
§ 3. The Boards of Directors of Polish Television-‘Telewizja Polska’ and
Polish Radio-‘Polskie Radio’ will divide the total election broadcasting time
among all of the national stations within the limits of the total time granted
for national stations to broadcast election programmes free of charge.
§ 4.1 The authorized representatives of the election committees shall
present the requests for free broadcasting time to the authorities of the
broadcasting companies defined in §7 and §8, not later than 22 days prior to
2. The requests that are mentioned in item 1 should contain:
1) the name of the election committee authorized to free broadcasting of the
2) the first and last name and address of the person authorized by the election
committee to represent it in issues connected with free broadcasting of the
election programmes, called ‘authorized representative’,
3) the list of election districts, with the registered rolls of candidates for
borough, county, and voivodeship councils, pertaining to the broadcasting areas.
3. To the petition are attached:
1) copies of the protocols for registration of the rolls of the candidates
listed in the request,
2) the document issued by the election committee stating the nomination of the
election committee’s authorized representative for election programmes.
§ 5.1. The election committees entitled to broadcast on the same channel
can present joint requests for a broadcasting time licence .
2. In the event of joint requests for a broadcasting time licence presented by
two or more election committees, shared broadcasting time shall be conceded as a
sum of the individual broadcasting times of each committee.
3. The committees presenting a joint request for a broadcasting time licence are
responsible for appointing one joint authorized representative.
§ 6. Before dividing the broadcasting time, the authorities of the
broadcasting companies mentioned in §7 and §8 shall call meetings of the
authorized representatives, in order to provide them information about the
proposed tentative schedule of election programme broadcasting time and to draw
numbers for the order of election programme emission.
§ 7. The directors of the departments within Polish Television-‘Telewizja
Polska’ and the presidents of the boards of directors of the regional
broadcasting companies will divide the broadcasting time on the regional
channels in proportion to the number of registered rolls of candidates in the
area of emission of a given programme.
§ 8. The presidents of the boards of directors of Polish
Television-‘Telewizja Polska’ and Polish Radio-‘Polskie Radio’ shall divide the
broadcasting time among the election committees entitled to broadcast the
election programmes on national stations in proportion to the number of lists of
candidates registered by these committees in the elections to the vovoideship
§ 9. After having considered the requests of the authorized
representatives, not later than 19 days prior to election day, the authorities
of the broadcasting companies mentioned in §7 and §8 shall establish the rules
and provide the authorized representatives information in writing about:
1) broadcasting time granted to the election committee,
2) dates of emission of the election programmes of the election committee,
3) dates and time of registration of the election programmes,
4) technical conditions which the election programme materials independently
prepared by the election committees should meet.
§ 10. Materials for an election programme independently prepared by an
election committee should be delivered to the broadcasting station 24 hours
prior to emission at the latest.
§ 11. The election programmes shall be broadcast in blocks in which the
order of emission of the election programmes of the individual committees is
established by drawing, as mentioned in §6, with the participation of the
§ 12.1. The broadcasting station required to emit the election programmes
guarantees free registration of the presentations of the election committee
representatives, candidates for membership on councils, or other information
prepared by the election committees in the studio of the broadcasting station.
2. In order to record a programme, the broadcasting station guarantees the
opportunity to use the studio for three times the length of the expected time of
emission of the programme in question.
§ 13. The broadcasting stations required to emit the election program mes
shall announce these at least twice in their information programme schedules.
They shall provide information about the emission of election programme blocks
daily in the programme announcements as well as through the printed press in the
adopted for providing information about programme content.
§ 14. The regulation shall take effect upon promulgation.