Warsaw, 8th January 2019
Positive Plusses, Negative Plusses – summary of Polish legislation 2018
In the ranking determining legal acts of the best quality adopted in 2018, the first place was taken by the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology Jadwiga Emilewicz. As part of the “Negative Plusses” platform, throughout the entire previous year, we assessed acts of law that became part of the Polish legal system. Each of our assessments was preceded by an analysis of a law in question in terms of its impact on the economy, functioning of the state or personal freedoms. The overall quality of our legislation is at a similar level as it was for 2017.
At the moment of its entry into force, an act is assessed on a scale of 1-5.
- Very harmful: when the law does not have any positive features;
- Harmful: when the law contains some positive elements, yet in its entirety we evaluate it negatively;
- Neutral: when there’s an equilibrium between the positive and negative features of the act;
- Good: when the act goes in the right direction, but it needs to be fine-tuned or has a few shortcomings;
- Very good: the new act is complete, we have no objections against it.
We assign each of the acts to a specific politician, field or area, and ministry. In individual categories, we calculate the arithmetic average based on all individual assessments.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INDEX
Last year, Warsaw Enterprise Institute assessed 61 acts, more than half as many as the year before. However, the average assessment of Polish legislation, which is 3.3, remains unchanged.
In most areas, including the economy or the justice system, there was little legislative improvement. However, a significant drop was noted in case of tax law, where legal acts that are considered to be harmful or very harmful prevail, e.g. the introduction of the third tax threshold in the form of “a solidarity tribute” or the increase in the emissions fee.
Jadwiga Emilewicz, the Polish Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology, tops the ranking for 2018 with an average of 4.2. It was her ministry that created, among others, the act on the succession of enterprises which facilitates the operations of businesses after the entrepreneur-owner’s death. She also coordinated the completion of legislative works on last year’s act of key significance, the so-called “Constitution for Business”, i.e. the act on entrepreneurial law.
Jan Ardanowski, Poland’s Minister of Agriculture, also deserves recognition. What should be highly appreciated are the facilitations for farmers that he introduced in direct sales or the incentive system for establishing agricultural cooperatives. For the previous year, his ministry received an average equal to that of the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology. His predecessor Krzysztof Jurgiel contributed to this assessment as it was during his terms when the act on contracts for harvest-time helpers, recognised as a very good law, was adopted. Andrzej Adamczyk, the Minister of Infrastructure, received the same assessment as Minister Ardanowski. In his case, however, newly introduced provisions of the law still have to translate into effective government action, because they concern future investments: the Central Communication Port and the local government roads fund.
On the completely other side of the scale are Krzysztof Tchórzewski and Henryk Kowalczyk, Ministers of Energy and Environment respectively. The former is responsible, for instance, for the act increasing the emissions fee or the act on freezing electricity prices that was passed at the end of 2018. The latter approved the act that strikes at the civil liberties of hunters and introduces an interventionist wooden house building program.
Other ministers failed to prepare any significant acts of law in the previous year or prepared too few of them to be included in this ranking.
Our assessments show a qualitative difference between laws that were created within the government in relation to those created by the parliament, authored by groups of MPs. All government acts obtained an average of 3.43, while parliamentary acts barely that of 2.9.
On average, the legislative activity of the President of the Republic of Poland was assessed at 3.5. Good acts, like the one that facilitates the recovery of money after an erroneous transfer, combined with worse ones, such as the act on free legal assistance. Last year, one project created as a result of a legislative initiative was also adopted. It was the act limiting trade on Sundays and it received the lowest possible rating in our ranking.
The whole ranking, starting from 2017, is available at www.plusyujemne.pl and is presented in an up-to-date manner on the communication channels of the Warsaw Enterprise Institute as well as of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers.