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12 December 2023

Foresight Report Wiejska 19. Postulates for the new government

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Making it possible for taxpayers to reach agreements with the tax authorities, binding deadlines for civil servants defined in the Code of Administrative Procedure, a dedicated government department on exit from coal-based economy and, above all, resumption of dialogue between the government and business - these are just some of the issues identified as important for entrepreneurs in the Foresight Report Wiejska 19. Postulates for the new government, published on Tuesday.


The publication of the report coincides with the presentation of the manifesto by Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Even before the new government was sworn in, the Speaker of the Sejm, Szymon Hołownia, announced an openness to dialogue with entrepreneurs. The needs are great and so are the expectations of the business community.


- The report contains postulates formulated from the point of view of entrepreneurs, which reflect a profound need for a change in the public administration's attitude towards business and a return to partnership cooperation," emphasises Bartłomiej Rajchert, CEO of GDS Grupa Doradztwa Strategicznego, the initiator of the report.


State-business cooperation


In the field of cooperation between the state and business, the basic demand that resonates in the voices of the experts is a change of attitude in the world of politics and public administration.


We call for the restoration of a proper, transparent, and effective social dialogue, i.e. a legislative process in which market participants have a real influence on the emerging regulations. Social dialogue must not be a façade. And dialogue on proposed regulations must be based on science and facts," stresses Dr Ewa Starzyk, in her report.


Among other things, the experts advocate the introduction of a mechanism for additional impact assessments (AIA) commissioned from analytical centres outside the administration, as well as mandatory ex-post AIA, i.e. checking whether a regulation actually leads to the achievement of its objectives and whether there is a need for possible amendments. Other demands include political and diplomatic support for the Polish economy on the international arena, as well as improving the analytical capacity of the public administration.


Civil servants need analytical tools to help them make decisions. They should also earn considerably more, just like parliamentarians and members of the government. Dr Krzysztof Ksieżopolski argues that the pay gap between the public and private sectors affects the quality of the former.


Energy, climate, and environment


In the area of energy and climate, experts point to delays in the implementation of EU climate directives, the inferior quality of public policies and the need for a social contract on energy transition, otherwise it will be politically and socially very costly. The demands also include the creation of a separate department to deal exclusively with the issue of phasing out coal and providing miners with alternative jobs.


Given the election results and a government based on three coalition formations, I expect energy and climate policy to be spread across several ministries. And there is an urgent need for coordination in these areas," says Bartosz Kwiatkowski.


Taxes and sanctions on companies


In the section on taxation, the experts call, among other things, for the introduction in the Code of Administrative Procedure of binding deadlines for the processing of cases by the authorities, combined with sanctions for exceeding these deadlines, as a means of combating the ubiquitous length of procedures. They also draw attention to the need to curb the abuse of temporary detention in business.


Another issue is providing to the taxpayers an option to reach an agreement with the tax authorities, an arrangement which is already allowed in the US and some European countries. Meanwhile, in Poland, in a dispute, [often of existential importance to a taxpayer concerned] their money is, as it were, "temporarily arrested" by the state, and the arduous process of seeking justice in court - even if it ends successfully for the entrepreneur - often takes place after the company has gone bankrupt.


Many changes in taxation will result from international legislation, the VIDA Directive, the Minimum Income Tax Directive. Moreover, it is also necessary to adapt the legislation to the rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union in recent years. We must also keep an eye on the tax system's leakage, as it is not only taxpayers who lose out, but also entrepreneurs who have to deal with unfair practices. A significant role in this will be played by tax officials, who should have good working conditions, but also understand the responsibility for their decisions," adds Dr Antoni Kolek.



I. State-business cooperation, or how to fill the framework with real action

1. Establish a regulatory dialogue based on science and evidence
Apply the principles of Better Regulation

3. Political and diplomatic support for Polish business in the international arena

4.  Improve the analytical capacity of public administration

5. Clear regulation of public-private cooperation

6. Restore confidence between social dialogue partners

7. Restore Poland's role as an equal partner in the EU legislative process


II. Energy, climate, and environment. A policy of anticipation rather than adaptation

1. A policy of anticipation instead of a policy of adaptation

2. Long-term action plan, stability of rules and regulations to reduce risks and build for the long-term perspective

3. Timely implementation of EU environmental legislation

4. Focus on building infrastructure for new technologies

5. Social contract and continuous dialogue between government and citizens


III. Taxes and sanctions on entrepreneurs

1. The introduction in the Code of Administrative Procedure of binding deadlines for the processing of cases by the authorities, combined with sanctions for exceeding these deadlines, as a tool to combat the ubiquitous length of procedures

2. Enabling taxpayers to reach an amicable settlement with the tax authorities

3. Revise the law on liability for breaches of public finance discipline

4. Reduce the abuse of temporary detention in business


IV. Catalysts - harnessing the potential for growth. Use good regulation and create new regulation where it is lacking.

1. Taking advantage of good regulations and creating new ones in areas where they are missing

2. Support Polish companies abroad through economic diplomacy

3. Stabilise local government revenues

4. Planning funds for pro-development investments


V. Industry challenges - sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward.

1. To move forward, some bad industry regulation needs to be rolled back

2. Let us use all available technologies to decarbonise the economy

3. Provide systematic material and financial support to Polish companies in the process of implementing the Green Deal

4. Industry-specific and highly technical regulations should be developed with the input of experts



Experts participating in the ‘Foresight Wiejska 19’ workshop:

Dr Justyna Glusman, Marcin Grzybowski, Paulina Kapuścińska, Dr Antoni Kolek, Att. Tomasz Korczyński, Dr Krzysztof Księżopolski, Bartosz Kwiatkowski, Bartłomiej Rajchert, Dr Ewa Starzyk, Att. Agnieszka Zaborowska


Substantive support for the 'Foresight Wiejska 19' project is provided by:

Dr Olgierd Annusewicz, Przemysław Radwan-Rőhrenschef




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