Law and Justice chairman Jarosław Kaczyński has confirmed that what he calls the ‘repolonisation’ of the media remains an important issue for the ruling party and one on which it may act during the current parliamentary term.

Speaking on a state television channel, Kaczyński claimed that countries in the west of Europe have regulations that prevent foreign ownership of the press, although when asked what regulations these were he was unable to identify them.

The issue was raised as a major issue by the president, Andrzej Duda, during his recent re-election fight. He claimed that ‘Germany’ was interfering in the poll on the side of the opposition candidate, Rafał Trzaskowski. He named one German journalist in particular, who writes for Die Welt, who later received several thousand hateful or insulting messages.

Kaczyński said there was no detailed legislation in the works, but added that the ruling party is analysing the issue. “There are discussions… but there are no specific plans or bills,” he said.

Many Polish newspapers are partly-owned by German companies, while private TV station TVN is owned by Discovery, a US operation. The US ambassador in Warsaw has fiercely defended the station’s independence, and since the ruling party counts a close relationship with the US as a key asset, this could be an important factor in defusing the government’s enthusiasm for a media law forcing the sale of foreign-owned media to Polish interests or the state.

The next parliamentary elections are due in 2023.

FILE PHOTO: Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski wears protective mask as he attends the Polish Parliament session in Warsaw, Poland May 6, 2020. Slawomir Kaminski/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS