Corruption in Poland

Corruption in Poland has been declining in recent years. In international rankings it is below the average average but not insignificant. Within Poland, surveys of Polish citizens reveal that it is perceived to be a major problem.


Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perception Index ranks the country 29th place out of 176 countries. [1] It is the next year in which the country’s index and ranking are improved.

Global Integrity 2010 report gave a score of 80 out of a 100 assessment of the legal framework as 86 (strong) and actual implementation as 71 (moderate). [2] The report scored in particular for the ratings of „Non-Governmental Organizations, Public Information and Media“ and „Elections“, and particularly low in the „Public Administration and Professionalism“ (score of 59) ). [2]

A 2011 Report by the Institute of Public Affairs also criticized the standards of public life in Poland, and the prevalence of nepotism and cronyism . [3]

A 2012 report jointly prepared by the Institute of Public Affairs and Transparency International notes that the corruption in Poland, when in the mid-1990s was „a phenomenon of a systemic nature“. [4] As described in that report, the World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators (accessed here [1] ) for „rule of law“ and „control of corruption“ show steady improvement for Poland. [4] Poland has joined the Anti-Bribery Convention in 2000, implementing relevant legislation in 2001.and the first anti-corruption strategy which was adopted in 2002. [4]

The 2012 report from the ISP and IT report, reviewing individual Polish anti-corruption institutions, praised the Supreme Audit Office (NIK), followed by the Polish Ombudsman (RPO). [4] It criticizes the civil society, the private sector, and the executive management of public finance. [4] Poland’s watchdog organizations are considered weak in combating corruption, and corruption allegations often appear in government contracting and permit issuance. [3] [6]

The 2012 report from the ISP and TI praised the overall direction of the anti-corruption efforts in Poland, noting that they are „bringing noticeable results“, but noted that those efforts, particularly from the public authorities, are „rather chaotic, sometimes contradictory. or even controversial „. It concluded that „corruption in Poland still has considerable risks“ and „the level of anti-corruption protection is unsatisfactory“. [4] A 2013 OECD report analyzing the implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention concluded that „the current Polish framework for foreign bribery is still inadequate“. [7]

A 2013 survey in Poland found that 83% of surveyed Polish citizens think that corruption is a major problem for their country, particularly prevalent among politicians (62 percent) and in the health-care sector (53 percent). A growing number of citizens (57%) is concerned that there is no political will to fight corruption. [8]


In the early 1920s, during the first years of the Second Polish Republic , Polish institutions were plagued by endemic corruption, [9] and several of the governments of the day were accused of corruption, very likely with sound cause. [10] Between 1923 and 1926, Józef Piłsudski came to the conclusion that he dubbed “ Sejmocracy “ fostered general corruption, ultimately leading to the May Coup and seize power. [11] His byword Sanitation referred to the cleansing he promised to introduce, in contrast to his predecessors‘ shady practices. [12]

However, once in power, his allies uncovered very few cases of corruption in past governments; persistent references to mass corruption amounted to a type of „primitive propaganda“, in the words of historian Andrzej Garlicki . Later, it has been piłsudskiites who has become embroiled in a well-publicized scandal revolving around election budgets, the Czechowicz Affair . [13] By the 1930s, the country having developed an economic model involving state capitalism , with key industries in government hands. While this growth in vital areas, it also gives rise to inefficiency and corruption. Private businesses found it directly with state-owned concerns, in particular for public contracts. [14]

In the communist People’s Republic of Poland , corruption is widespread, particularly by Polish United Workers Party officials ( see nomenklatura ). [15] [16] [17] Corruption under the communist regime has been pervasive that some scholars have referred to the system as „legalized corruption“. [18]

See also

  • Police corruption in Poland
  • Crime in Poland


  1. Jump up^ „Corruption Perception Index 2016“ .
  2. ^ Jump up to:b „Global Integrity Report 2010- Poland“ . Global Integrity . Global Integrity . Retrieved 17 November 2013 .
  3. ^ Jump up to:b „Press releases – Polish institutions prone to corruption“ . March 5, 2012 . Retrieved 18 November 2013 .
  4. ^ Jump up to:f Susanne Kuehn (5 March 2012). „National integrity system assessments – Poland 2012“ . . Retrieved 18 November2013 .
  5. Jump up^ „Poland: – Poland – OECD Anti-Bribery Convention – Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development“ . . Retrieved 18 November 2013 .
  6. Jump up^ „Snapshot of the Poland Country Profile“ . Business Anti-Corruption Portal . GAN Integrity Solutions . Retrieved 17 November 2013 .
  7. Jump up^ „Bribery in International Business – Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development“ . June 20, 2013 . Retrieved 18 November 2013 .
  8. Jump up^ „Poles see significant corruption in Poland – Warsaw Business Journal – Online Portal“ . July 25, 2013 . Retrieved 18 November 2013 .
  9. Jump up^ Halik Kochanski (2012). The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War . Harvard University Press. p. 25. ISBN  978-0-674068-16-2 .
  10. Jump up^ Mieczysław B. Biskupski (2000). The History of Poland . Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 77. ISBN  978-0-313305-71-9 .
  11. Jump up^ Piotr J. Wróbel (2010). The Origins of Modern Polish Democracy . Ohio University Press. p. 154. ISBN  978-0-821443-09-5 .
  12. Jump up^ Aristotle Kallis (2008). Genocide and Fascism: The Eliminationist Drive in Fascist Europe . Routledge. p. 124. ISBN  978-0-203449-36-3 .
  13. Jump up^ Eva Plach (2006). The Clash of Moral Nations: Political Politics in Piłsudski’s Poland, 1926-1935 . Ohio University Press. pp. 60-61. ISBN  978-0-821416-95-2 .
  14. Jump up^ John Radzilowski (2007). To Traveler’s History of Poland . Interlink Books. p. 183. ISBN  978-1-566566-55-1 .
  15. Jump up^ Jack M. Bloom (13 September 2013). Seeing Through the Eyes of the Polish Revolution: Solidarity and the Struggle Against Communism in Poland . BRILL. pp. 17-19. ISBN  978-90-04-25276-9 .
  16. Jump up^ Marek Jan Chodakiewicz; John Radzilowski; Dariusz Tolczyk (2003). Poland’s Transformation: A Work in Progress: Studies in Honor of Kenneth W. Thompson . Transaction Publishers. pp. 132-133. ISBN  978-1-4128-3096-6 .
  17. Jump up^ Tarkowski, J. (July 1, 1989). „Old and New Patterns of Corruption in Poland and the USSR“. Telos . 1989 (80): 51-62. doi : 10.3817 / 0689080051 .
  18. Jump up^ Xiaobo Lü (2000). Frames and Corruption: The Organizational Involution of the Chinese Communist Party . Stanford University Press. p. 242. ISBN  978-0-8047-6448-3 .