03.11.2022 | 18:30 | Online-Panel (Zoom)

Free elections, freedom of the press and the rule of law were hard-won in Poland in the 1980s. In recent years, the country has repeatedly come under international criticism for dismantling the rule of law. Are the hard-won democratic freedoms of that time currently in danger, and what is the state of democratic and political awareness in Polish civil society?

Katarzyna Batko-Tołuć (Member of the Board at Watchdog Poland)

Dr. Jacek Kołtan (Director’s Representative for Research at the European Solidarity Centre)

Filip Pazderski (Senior Policy Analyst and Director of the Democracy and Civil Society Program of the Institute of Public Affairs )

Malwina Talik (Research Associate at the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe)

The panel will take place at Zoom and will be in English. To participate, please email us at: internationalroundtable@revolutionale.de and we will send you the login details.

The event is part of the series “Regional Perspectives on Remembrance”.


Katarzyna Batko-Tołuć is a Programme Director and a Board Member of the Citizens Network Watchdog Poland. Through litigation, advocacy and building a grass-root social movement, the organisation aims at enforcing freedom of information, freedom of speech, transparency of governments and accountability of decision-making. Katarzyna is also a member of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum’s Solidarity Group, International Advisory Board of Access Info Europe and an Asoka Fellow. In 2022 she graduated from RARE – Re-Charging Advocacy for Rights in Europe by Hertie School, Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee.

Dr. Jacek Kołtan,PhD, philosopher and political scientist, Director’s Representative for Research at the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk, Poland. He studied at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland), Humboldt-Universität and Freie Universität in Berlin (Germany). He has been a fellow of the KAAD scholarship fund in Berlin (2001–2007) and a visiting scholar of the Catholic University of America in Washington DC (2012). His research interests cover social and political theory, history of solidarity idea, social movements, hermeneutics as well as social design and anthropology. He is author of Solidarity, Democracy, Europe (co-ed. 2021), Solidarity and the Crisis of Trust (ed., 2016), Anthology. European Solidarity Centre Permanent Exhibition (ed., 2015), Solidarność. A Peaceful Revolution (ed., 2009), Der Mitmensch. Zur Identitätsproblematik des sozialen Selbst ausgehend von der Frühphilosophie Martin Heideggers und Karl Löwiths (2012). He teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk and the Collegium Artes Liberales at the Warsaw University. Further Information: https://europeansolidaritycentre.academia.edu/JacekKoltan

Filip Pazderski –A lawyer and sociologist after studies at University of Warsaw, he has also graduated from European Master’s Degree Program in Human Rights and Democratization (E.MA) in Venice. Senior Policy Analyst and Director of the Democracy and Civil Society Program of the Institute of Public Affairs (Warsaw based non-partisan think tank organisation), where he works on civil society, civic education, public participation, quality of democracy, elections and rule of law. His academic interests also include social and cultural memory in the German-Polish borderland. He carried out research and wrote reports for such institutions as OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, European Economic and Social Committee, International IDEA, Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI), National Democratic Institute (NDI), Office of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, Polish Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and Educational Research Institute. He is also a vice-President of the European Civic Forum (ECF), a European network of over 100 civic organisations and a consultant to the Council of Europe in the field of civic education and participation.

Malwina Talikis a research associate at the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM) in Vienna, where she specializes in democratic transitions in CEE, Polish politics, women’s leadership and political participation. Previously she has worked at the Polish Academy of Sciences – Scientific Center in Vienna and at the Polish Embassy in Vienna where she conceptualized and managed projects and events on the Austrian, German and Polish cultures of remembrance. She holds a European Master’s degree in Global Studies and Global History (EMGS) from the University of Leipzig and University of Vienna.
Further information: https://www.idm.at/en/malwina-talik/