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Democratic Audit of Poland 2014

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Radosław Markowski, Michał Kotnarowski, Michał Wenzel and Marta Żerkowska-Balas

The book is a study of the state of the Polish democracy and focuses on the years 2012 and 2013. It explores available documents and statistical data, offers a collection of experts' judgments, and analyses public opinion research. Ten domains of democracy are covered, some of them as fundamental as the rule of law, the political community or public administration. The study evaluates contemporary Polish democracy as consolidated and assesses it as reasonably effective, although a number of clear shortcomings call for improvements.
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10. Responsiveness of politicians

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Appropriate reaction to citizens’ expectations, needs and demands, i.e. authority responsiveness, include a wide range of mechanisms and practices both within institutions and in relations of state institutions with citizens. The translation of public preferences into politics is not a simple task: on the one hand, the authorities must take into account citizens’ expectations; on the other hand, however, representative democracy assumes a selection of competent elites whose task is to form these expectations into coherent and feasible policy. In this chapter the issue of authority responsiveness is discussed in three aspects. They include: (1) procedures of public consultation; (2) availability of MPs and local authorities to citizens and (3) assessment of authority responsiveness by citizens.

The first area comprises procedures of public consultation. In this report we define them as “an organized methods of obtaining opinions and views from entities (individuals and institutions) who are going to be indirectly or directly affected by the results of actions proposed by the administration” (“Stocznia” association 2011, p. 9). Our analysis starts from presenting legal mechanisms regulating procedures of public consultation.

DAP experts were asked for assessment of public consultations conducted by the central and local authority. The experts were rather negative when assessing consultations conducted by the central authority. The average rating was 5, which means that “only issues in which consultations are obligatory are consulted,” indicating moderate openness of the central authority towards conducting public consultation. Assessment is even more negative when it comes to the...

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