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Solid and Professional



Attitudes towards Migrants on the Belarus Border Worsen

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Polish media are again giving increased coverage to tensions on the Poland-Belarus border. In recent weeks attempts to cross this border illegally have become more violent, leading to the death of a young Polish soldier. While this crisis has certainly intensified recently, it has actually been ongoing since 2021, the time of the first CBOS survey into attitudes towards the people arriving at the Poland-Belarus border. Right from the start Poles tended to be averse to giving them the opportunity to apply for asylum in this country (in December 2021 58% of respondents were opposed to this, while 33% were in favour). Currently attitudes have hardened, with a clear majority saying there should be no chance for migrants on this border to apply for asylum in Poland (72%) with only one in five (20%) holding the opposite view.

How Soon Should Poland Be Climate Neutral?

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In line with the policy initiatives of the European Green Deal, the European Union should be climate neutral by 2050. However, support for Poland achieving this goal has recently been dwindling. In 2021 almost half of the people surveyed (48%) favoured becoming climate neutral by 2050 or sooner. But by 2023 this was down to just under two fifths (38%), while currently it is only one in four (25%), so a drop of almost a half on three years ago. At the same time the percentage of those who believe Poland should reach climate neutral at its own pace – even if this means getting there after 2050 – has jumped from 43% to 68%.

How Should Poland Function within the EU?

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There are clear differences between the most important parties’ electorates in their expectations of how Poland should function within the EU. Supporters of the governing coalition mostly declare that in the European elections they will vote for a candidate who advocates increasing European integration. The strongest such declarations come from Civic Coalition voters, while supporters of the Third Way more often express doubts on the matter. The electorates of opposition parties Law and Justice or Confederation are more uniform in their approach and generally want to vote for candidates emphasising Poland’s autonomy within the EU.

Fear of Crime

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Somewhat over a third of people surveyed (35%) are worried about becoming victims of crime, with 4% being very anxious about this and 31% less so. Changes compared to last year are slight and within the limits of statistical error. Almost two thirds of Polish adults (64%, an increase of 3 percentage points on 2023) does not admit to this type of anxiety, and 17% maintain that in this respect they are not worried at all.

Are Polish People Preparing for War?

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The CBOS March survey showed that over a half of Poles believe in the probability of an armed Russian attack on a NATO country within the next few years. In April CBOS looked at this in greater depth, asking respondents if they are making any sort of preparations for the possibility of a Russian attack. As it turns out, a majority of the people surveyed (62%) are not doing anything, although 18% of respondents were able to name one way in which they were preparing and one in nine (11%) could name two ways.

Do Polish People Think that a Russian Attack on NATO Countries Is Likely?

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An increasing number of western experts, politicians and members of the armed forces have been talking about the possibility of a Russian attack on NATO countries, usually mentioning particular timescales within which such an attack could happen. These mostly range from three to eight years, although some give NATO even less time. What do the people CBOS asked think? It turns out that over a half of Polish people (57%) believe that a Russian attack on NATO countries is likely, with 14% thinking it is very likely. One in three of those surveyed (32%) are of the opposite opinion, though only 4% believe it to be quite unlikely. One in nine respondents (11%) have no opinion about this.

Easter Traditions

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Observance of Polish Easter traditions remains at a stable level. Virtually nine out of ten of those surveyed (89%) said that at the start of the Easter Sunday breakfast they exchanged good wishes with their families while sharing the customary hard-boiled egg. Almost as many (86%) took baskets with eggs and other Easter food items to be blessed at church on Holy Saturday. Around two thirds (69%) continued the Easter Monday custom of śmigus dyngus: sprinkling – or even drenching – family members with water. A similar percentage (66%) continued the custom of decorating eggs by dyeing, painting or other techniques. A half, or just under a half, of Polish people engaged in religious practices, such as the annual duty of confession and communion, or participated in the Easter Triduum – the period of three days that begins with the liturgy on the evening of Maundy Thursday and ends with evening prayer on Easter Sunday.

Who do Polish People Like Most and Who Least?

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As last year, the people we like most are the Americans. In close second place are the Italians, followed by our favourite neighbours: the Czechs and Slovaks. Most respondents also expressed liking for the English and Lithuanians, while almost half also liked Finns, Hungarians and the French. Georgians, Ukrainians and Germans were liked by 40% of those surveyed, although the latter two groups were also disliked by a fairly high percentage.

25 years of Poland in NATO

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Pro-NATO attitudes were never as widespread in Poland as they have been since March 2022, although ever since April 2014 greater support for NATO than in previous surveys had also been observable. This is undoubtedly connected with the fate of Ukraine over the last ten years.

Revival of Domestic Tourism after the Pandemic

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In the years since 2020 and the Covid-generated collapse of tourism, driven by administratively imposed restrictions and people’s fear of becoming infected, Poles have gradually returned to going away for breaks involving at least one overnight stay. In 2023 over three fifths (61%) of adult Poles went away for at least two days – 7 percentage points more than in 2022. This is also the highest result since CBOS began asking about such trips in 2012, with only the 2018 result coming close. At the beginning of 2023, interestingly enough, only 55% of respondents were planning to go away, so it is the first time in the history of this research that trips taken have exceeded trips being planned at the start of the year.

Opinions about the Morning-after Pill

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Polish people are divided in their opinions about access without prescription to emergency contraception for people over the age of 15. The recent parliamentary amendment to the pharmaceuticals law does away with the need for a prescription. At 50%, a somewhat greater percentage of people support this, than the 42% opposed to it. The remaining 8% found it hard to say.

What Was Important in 2023?

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Decidedly the most significant event of 2023 in Poland was, according to Poles, the parliamentary election, or – more precisely – the result: victory for the democratic opposition and the end of the Law and Justice government (indicated by 65.3% of respondents). Looking at the wider world, 2023 will be remembered as a year of wars. On the one hand respondents pointed to the ongoing war in Ukraine (27.1%), on the other to the war in the Gaza Strip – an international conflict that erupted with renewed vigour after the Hamas attack on Israel (23.2%). A further 7% indicated armed conflicts in general as most significant last year. In all, almost three fifths of Polish people (57.3%) indicated a war or wars as the most significant things to happen in 2023.

What Poles Did in 2023

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After the two pandemic years and the first year of war in Ukraine, Polish people’s participation in social activities and events has returned to the previous trend for growth. The only significant decrease is in charitable activity, with the percentage of people donating money or goods to charity much lower than in 2022, when there was an explosion of help for refugees from Ukraine. The biggest rise has been in the percentages of people taking holidays and going to concerts.

What Poles Say about Their Incomes

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Of all the various aspects of life, the greatest increase in Polish people’s satisfaction last year was with their incomes and general financial situation, despite this being a subject that usually shows the smallest such rise. People’s responses correspond with the data of the Central Statistical Office (GUS), which show that the average nominal gross income reached its highest level ever in December 2023, at over 8,000 PLN. At the same time Polish people’s satisfaction with their incomes and general financial situation shot up by 10 percentage points on the previous year. Currently, virtually two fifths of those surveyed (39%) say they are happy with their financial position, while in December 2022 just over a quarter (29%) said this. Simultaneously the level of dissatisfaction has dropped by five points, which now gives only a fifth of adult Poles (20%) unhappy about their financial position.

What Does Christmas Mean to Us?

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In December CBOS asked respondents about the meaning of Christmas for them. It turned out that for a majority of Poles (62%) Christmas was mostly about celebrating with family. Just under one in five (19%) saw it primarily as a religious experience, for one in ten (10%) it was a nice tradition, while for one in twenty (5%) it meant a rest and a break from work. Although the form in which CBOS asked this question has been somewhat different in previous years, the relatively low percentage of respondents for whom Christmas is primarily a religious festival is in keeping with the observed diminishing importance of this religious aspect, noted over the years.

On which Side of the Israeli – Palestinian Conflict Do Polish Sympathies Lie?

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The CBOS November survey showed that the Israeli – Palestinian conflict taking place in the Middle East is an important topic of conversation among Polish people. In an expansion of this subject in December, respondents were asked which side of the conflict they sympathised with more. It turned out that Poles are slightly more favourably disposed towards Israel (14%, compared to 10% sympathising more with the Palestinian side). It is worth noting, however, that people with clear views about this war are in a minority: the dominant response was ‘hard to say’ (43%), closely followed by sympathy for both sides in equal measure (33%).

Assessment of the Conduct of the Electoral Process

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A decided majority of Polish adults (83%) did not notice any irregularities in the conduct of the recent elections to the two houses of parliament, while 9% expressed the belief that irregularities did occur. Another 7% did not have an opinion on the subject and one in a hundred refused to answer the question. Despite the fact that doubts as to the correctness of the electoral process were expressed slightly less frequently than after the last presidential election, these parliamentary elections were still rated much more negatively than the previous ones: the number of respondents believing that irregularities had occurred was up by 8 percentage points, while the number of those who said they had not noticed any such irregularities was down by 11 points.

The Advantages of People from Outside the EU Working in Poland

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The majority of people surveyed see the work of foreign nationals from outside the EU as beneficial for the Polish individuals and businesses employing them (83% as against 8% who do not) and also for the Polish economy as a whole (72% as against 17%). Most respondents are also of the opinion that there are advantages from this for all working people (56% as against 29%) and themselves personally (48% as against 25%). The last four years have seen a strengthening of the view that employing foreign nationals from outside the EU benefits working people as a whole, while slightly fewer people see the advantages for the individuals and businesses that actually hire them. More respondents than four years ago see this as either a positive or a negative for themselves. Opinions about the advantages to the Polish economy have remained relatively stable.

Assessment of the Ninth-term Sejm

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The ninth term of the Sejm (the lower house of the Polish parliament), currently drawing to a close, has been assessed similarly to the previous three: it achieved a lot while also leaving many things undone. This was the answer selected by 39% of respondents in the CBOS October survey.

How Widespread This School Year Are Extra Classes Paid for by Parents?

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The start of the 2023-24 school year showed a clear rise in the number of extra classes taken by school students and paid for by parents. Almost three quarters (72%, a rise of 7 percentage points on last year) of the parents surveyed stated that at least one of their school-aged children attended extra classes or was about to do so. These are classes paid for by parents, which take place either at school or elsewhere. The percentage of parents saying they are paying, or about to pay, for their children to attend such classes is the highest since records began in 1998. As in previous years, foreign languages are the most common classes to be taken by school-aged young people, with a half of parents (50%) already paying or intending to pay for them this school year.

Looking at How Poles Would Vote in the Parliamentary Elections

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In order to get the most accurate picture of Polish people’s voting preferences in the run-up to the general elections, CBOS made use of the potential of two different research methods, aggregating the data from each. Both were conducted during a similar time period: the survey on a representative sample of named adults, randomly selected from the National Identity Number (PESEL) register (N=1110) was conducted between 2–11 October, while the telephone survey on a random sample of mobile phone users (N=1000) was limited to 9–12 October, in the week immediately preceding the elections. Assuming a turnout of 68% (1443 people) and excluding the undecided (14% i.e. 200 people) and those who refused to give an answer (4% i.e. 61 people), the following picture of support for the competing electoral committees emerged:

Going Away during the Summer Holidays

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During this year’s summer holidays a similar proportion of children and school-aged young people went away on a holiday of at least a week as did last year (68%), and on the whole this was the case for all the young people in a household (57%). While there has been a tiny rise in households declaring children’s holidays of at least two weeks (28%, up by one percentage point), there has been a drop in those that sent all their young people on a fortnight’s holiday (17%, down by 5 points).

Majority of Polish People Opposed to Ukrainian Cultural Centres, Schools, Churches or Districts in Poland

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In the October survey CBOS asked people what they thought about Ukrainians living in Poland setting up their own schools, cultural centres, districts or churches. The results show that such initiatives are likely to elicit disapproval, with the answers to each of the questions being mostly negative. The most divided – though still largely negative – were opinions regarding Ukrainian cultural centres in Poland, with 48% against and 42% in favour. Clearer opposition was expressed towards Ukrainian Orthodox churches (51% against and 39% in favour), and this was even greater when it came to schools (58% as against 31%). Finally, Ukrainian districts in Poland’s big cities were opposed by an overwhelming majority of Poles (87% as against 7%).

Who do Poles Think Will Win the Forthcoming Elections?

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According to responses collected in the CBOS September survey it looks like Law and Justice will win the elections to the Sejm. In the Senate seats could be fairly evenly distributed between Law and Justice and its partners on the one hand, and a probable coalition of opposition parties on the other.

War Reparations from Germany

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Announcements that Poland was to seek war reparations from Germany were, from the outset, met with a positive reception by people surveyed. The greatest support for pursuing this course of action was noted in July 2019 (69%). Currently 58% of respondents are in favour, including 38% decidedly so, with less than a third (32%) being against, and only 11% saying ‘decidedly not.’ In comparison to last September, support for claiming war reparations has risen minimally, although it is still lower than in August 2019 or October 2021. In addition, there are fewer opponents of this action than last September.

Should the Embargo on Ukrainian Grain be Extended?

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There is an EU ban in place until 15 September on bringing in wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seeds from Ukraine to Poland and other central and east European countries. Almost two thirds of the people surveyed (65%) expressed the opinion that this ban should be extended, with a significant part (39%) being definite about this.

Medical Services – NFZ or Private?

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In the six months prior to this survey, a quarter (24%) of respondents only made use of medical services provided by the state health insurance system (NFZ), while a tenth (11%) used only those they paid for themselves, either directly or through private health insurance or subscription schemes. The largest group, 51%, made use of both. The remaining respondents (14%) had not accessed any health services in the last six months.

Positive Assessments of Polish‑Ukrainian Relations More than Double

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The percentage of Polish people who see Polish-Ukrainian relations as good has more than doubled since 2018 (64% as against 29% five years ago), which is undoubtedly an effect of the closer relations between the two nations since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is worth noting that an earlier increase in such a positive view occurred after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. A mere 4% of Poles think Polish-Ukrainian relations are bad.

Raising the 500+ Child Benefit

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Polish people are divided on the subject of raising the 500+ child benefit to 800 zloty: 50% of those asked supported the idea, while 46% were against. The remaining 4% had no opinion on the subject. Worth noticing is that those who supported the raise more often did so cautiously (‘Somewhat in favour’ – 27%) than wholeheartedly (‘Definitely in favour’ – 23%), whereas among those not supporting it there were more decided opponents (27%) than moderate ones (19%).

Views on Setting up the Commission to Investigate Russian Influence

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The act establishing a National Commission to investigate Russian influence on the internal security of the Republic of Poland 2007–2022 became law on 31 May 2023. It was then amended by the president on 16 June.

Almost Half of Polish People Blame the Grain Crisis on the Government

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In the May survey people were asked who they thought was most responsible for the problems, dubbed the grain crisis, brought about by the uncontrolled influx of Ukrainian grain into Poland. Almost half (45%) saw the government as being chiefly to blame, first by reacting sluggishly to the problems farmers were reporting, then acting too precipitously. In second place (20%) were the grain traders and in third (16%) the European Union. Ukraine itself was least often held responsible (2%). Almost one in five respondents (17%) had no opinion on this subject.

Is Pope John Paul II a Moral Authority for Poles?

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The broadcast of Marcin Gutkowski’s documentary Franciszkańska 3, which implied that when John Paul II was metropolitan bishop of Krakow he covered up instances of paedophilia among priests, provoked a political and media storm. CBOS looked at the effect of the media reports on John Paul II’s authority over the Polish populace by comparing the results of this year’s April survey with last year’s results. In May 2022 a total of 81% of those surveyed declared that John Paul II was a moral authority for them, with 56% saying this was decidedly so. Almost a year later the same answer was again given by 81% of respondents, with 58% saying decidedly so. It can therefore be said that the allegations made against him have not resulted in a fall in John Paul II’s social authority.

Views of Polish Sovereignty within the European Union

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The creation of policy common to all EU member states involves delegating some national competences to the organs of the EU. Since Law and Justice came to power, the issue of Poland’s sovereignty has been raised frequently, particularly in the context of changes to the Polish judicial system and concern expressed by EU organs about the rule of law in Poland. Despite the controversies in these areas, until 2022 perceptions of Polish sovereignty within the EU remained relatively constant, the prevalent opinion being that membership of the EU did not unduly limit Poland’s sovereign power. This has now changed. Currently about the same percentage of people think that EU membership does not unduly limit Poland’s sovereignty (44%, down 11 points from June 2022) as hold the opposite view (45%, up 12 points).

Drop in Support for Taking in Refugees from Ukraine

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April saw a clear, 10-point, drop in the percentage of Polish people who support taking in refugees from Ukraine (73%, compared to 83% in March). Although a decided majority of those surveyed are still in favour, this is the lowest result since the outbreak of the war. Virtually every fifth Pole (19%, a rise of 8 points on March) is now against taking in Ukrainian refugees, which is the highest result since the outbreak of the war. These changes can probably be linked to the uncertain economic situation, and in particular to the uncontrolled influx of cheap Ukrainian grain, which has recently led to a wave of protests.

The Significance of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

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It is 80 years since the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto. An overwhelming majority of Poles (89%) has heard about it. Of those, six out of ten (60%) say that this uprising is currently important chiefly for Jews. Fewer than half (46%) think that it has particular significance for Polish people, while over a third (36%) say its importance is rather for the elderly. Relatively rarely is it seen as significant only for those whose lives are connected with Warsaw in some way. At the same time, seven respondents out of a hundred (7%) think that the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is of little interest to anyone today. The last decade, however, has seen a weakening of the attitude that this event is of significance mostly to Jews. Moreover, more people than in 2013 see it as particularly significant for Polish people in general, while fewer say it is of concern chiefly to the older generation.

Opinions about United States Influence in the World

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The United States remains the only existing superpower, despite the last three decades having seen a steady rise in the global political and economic significance of some other countries (mainly the BRICS group, China in particular). This March, when after a gap of almost nine years Polish people were questioned about how they see the influence of the US on the world, the answers showed that current attitudes are at their most positive since 2006. May 2014 had already seen a reversal of the earlier growth trend in equivocal responses linking perceptions of the political role of this superpower to specific situations. This 2014 change of heart was in all likelihood connected to the USA’s clear position at that time in regard to Ukraine and Russia’s engagement there. Attitudes in this respect are even more positive now, as shown by the current survey. Compared to earlier studies, there has been a significant rise in Polish people believing that, on the whole, the United States exerts a positive influence on the world; this is the opinion held by over a half of all respondents at present. Such a positive attitude to the United States can, in all certainty, be linked to the response of the superpower to Russia’s armed aggression in Ukraine.

Free Transport to Polling Stations

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On the 13th of March President Andrzej Duda signed an amendment to the electoral code. This requires the provision of free transport to polling stations for the elderly, people with disabilities and residents of rural areas where the nearest public transport stop is at a distance of at least 1.5 km from the polling station. This measure is supported by 70% of those surveyed, with 24% against.

How Quickly Should Poland Become Climate Neutral?

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The war in Ukraine and its effect on the energy sector has had an impact on Polish thinking about energy transition and the achievement of EU climate targets.

How Poles Assess the Positions of Different Countries in Regard to the War in Ukraine

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The first anniversary of the outbreak of war in Ukraine was a convenient moment to ask for an evaluation of the positions of various countries in regard to this conflict. Countries in the survey have been limited to those playing a key role in supporting Ukraine, such as the USA or Poland, and those with controversial positions, such as Germany or Hungary.

Attitudes to Wind Energy

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An overwhelming majority of Polish people (83%) support the development of land-based wind power, with only a few (10%) taking the opposite view. Over half of those surveyed (51%) correctly believe that the cost of electricity generated by wind farms is lower than the cost of producing it from coal. Just short of one fifth of respondents (17%) think the cost is similar and one ninth (11%) believe it to be higher.

Liking for Americans Has Reached Record Levels

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Systematic research since 1993 shows that Americans are among those nations that Polish people like the most. This affirmative attitude has been declared particularly often this year, by two thirds of those asked (68%), with a bare 6% of respondents expressing dislike. The record level of positivity towards Americans can be linked to the increased presence of the US military in Poland, the USA’s support of Ukraine, and US declarations, in the context of Russia’s armed aggression towards Ukraine, of engagement in the defence of Polish borders if need be.

Going on Holiday in 2022

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The number of people going away on holiday is rapidly returning to pre-pandemic levels. In 2022 the proportion of adult Poles going away for a break of at least two days reached 54%, up 4 percentage points on 2021. Moreover, responses both to questions about holidays taken in 2022 and plans for 2023 show that the choices between staying in the country and going abroad are also back to where they were before the pandemic. However, in relation to plans for this year, there is still an observably higher level of uncertainty, expressed in a greater number of ‘don’t know yet’ responses than before the pandemic.

Charitable Activity in 2022

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After two pandemic years 2022 has seen a clear increase in the scale of charitable activity. This might, on the one hand, be very surprising in the context of soaring inflation, though on the other hand, data from other CBOS surveys has shown how the war in Ukraine released in Polish people a huge momentum to help Ukrainians arriving in Poland. Last year seven out of ten respondents (71%) gave money to charitable causes, and over half (53%) did this more than once. This is 8 percentage points more than in 2021 and almost as much as in 2019. Considerably more people than in 2020-2021 donated goods (61%, a leap of 13 points on 2021). The scale of this help is also close to pre-pandemic levels. Likewise, after two poorer years, the percentage of those offering their work to a charitable cause has returned to previous levels. In 2022 this was over a fifth (22%, 7 points up on 2021). There has also been a slight increase, from 5% to 8%, in people working as volunteers.

Rise in Anxiety about Covid-19

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Ever since last March the percentage of respondents saying they were not worried about catching the coronavirus has remained higher than those for whom it was a concern. Despite this long-range decrease in anxiety levels, since December there has been a rise of 7 percentage points in those who are concerned about getting infected, from 31% to 38%. Of these, every tenth person said they were very worried.

Drop in Help for Refugees from Ukraine

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Since May 2022 about a half of Polish people had been reporting that they, or members of their households, were helping refugees from Ukraine, of their own accord and without recompense. January has seen a reversal of this trend: only two out of five respondents (41%) reported helping refugees from Ukraine, a drop of 11 percentage points on December. This change is not accompanied by a fall in support for accepting refugees into Poland, which suggests it is connected to the high rate of inflation that is forcing people to cut expenditure, rather than to a change of attitude towards Ukrainians.

What Frame of Mind Do People Seem to Be in?

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When describing the predominant mood of the people around them, four fifths of Poles (83%) were mostly aware of negative feelings. Most often other people were seen to be fearful and anxious about an uncertain future (60%). Less frequently they seemed generally unhappy, with no hope of things getting better (14%) or apathetic, resigned and accepting of their lot (9%). Only a total of 13% of respondents, when asked about the most common frame of mind of those around them, could see a predominance of positive feelings, people who were relaxed and pleased that things had got a bit better (9%), or, less frequently, who believed things were actually getting better (4%).

Politicians of 2022

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The title of Polish Politician of 2022 has gone to President Andrzej Duda; in answer to an open question, he was picked by 12% of the Polish people surveyed. Next, with a similar number of votes, came Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Donald Tusk, leader of the biggest opposition party (6% each). However, over a half of the people asked (55%) did not find anyone who deserved such a distinction.

Drop in Covid-related Anxiety Levels

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Research carried out at the end of November and early in December shows that most people are no longer anxious about the Covid pandemic. The percentage of people unconcerned about catching the coronavirus has risen since the last survey (from 63% in November to 69% currently), with a drop in those worried about getting it (from 36% to 31%). However, the percentage of those most afraid for their health has changed the least, with the decrease mostly coming from those who are a little worried about the virus (from 28% to 23%).

NGOs in Schools

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If the new education bill (dubbed ‘Lex Czarnek’ by the media, after the surname of the minister of education and science) had become law, any cooperation between schools and non-government organisations would have been made considerably more difficult. In order to come into a school to run activities, NGOs would have had to engage in time-consuming consultations with parents and – controversially – would have still required permission from the local superintendent of schools. This new bill has been vetoed by President Andrzej Duda. The results of the CBOS survey in November show that the president’s veto was in accord with public opinion on the matter. An overwhelming majority of respondents (75%) was of the opinion that for an NGO to run extra-curricular activities in a school the decision of the head teacher and the parent council was sufficient. Only 14% thought it should be confirmed by the superintendent of schools.

Different Scenarios for the End of the War in Ukraine

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Since June there has been a steady increase in the number of Polish people convinced that the war will end favourably for Ukraine. The November survey confirms this trend: over a third of respondents (34%) maintained that Russia would withdraw from the Ukrainian territories it attacked. This is a jump of 8 percentage points on the previous survey and is a record result. Every fifth person surveyed (20%, up 3 points) thought that Russia would also withdraw from the territories it occupied in 2014.

Surge in Public Support for Nuclear Power in Poland

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The war in Ukraine, with its negative effect on the availability and price of fuel, has contributed to a greater acceptance of plans for nuclear power stations in Poland. The percentage of those in favour of introducing nuclear reactors here has increased from 39% in May 2021 to 75% in November 2022, a leap of 36 percentage points. This makes support for nuclear energy in Poland by far the highest it has been since CBOS records began.

How Interested Are People in the World Cup Finals in Qatar?

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Before the start of this year’s football World Cup Finals, almost two thirds of Polish adults (64%) declared they would be watching the TV coverage. Interest is lower this year than four years ago, but greater than in 2014, when Poland did not get through to the finals. Interest this year is at the same level as 2002 and 2006, when Poland did qualify.

Parents Spend More at the Start of the School Year

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From the declarations of the people surveyed, it is clear that the amount parents have had to spend on their children’s needs for the start of the 2022–2023 school year has been substantially more than in recent years. Children attending primary, secondary or vocational schools need textbooks, maths and other equipment, outfits, and payment for such things as insurance, school fees, or board and lodging. Families have spent an average of 1536 zloty per child, an increase of 303 zloty over last year (125% of last years outlay). The rise in median expenditure since last year is also clear (200 zloty or 20% of what was spent last year), and amounts to 1200 zloty this year. The overall amount parents allocate to their children’s needs at the start of the school year depends on how many school students there are in the family, but the more there are, the higher the mean amount spent.

Feeling the Effects of Inflation

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Poles are increasingly feeling the effects of rising prices. CBOS data shows that up to April about two thirds of the people surveyed said that they were affected by inflation to a great or very great extent. This has now shot up to 86%. The percentage of respondents affected to a very great extent has soared (by 24 percentage points), while that of people only affected slightly has plummeted (from 33% to 13%).

Fears of Russia Using Nuclear Weapons

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The subject of Russia potentially using nuclear weapons returned to the front pages of newspapers after Vladimir Putin recently began suggesting that he would be ready to take such a step. For this reason, in the October survey, CBOS decided to ask Polish people if they found such a threat worrying, using the same set of questions as were first asked just after the war broke out. It transpired that anxiety levels, while still significant, are clearly lower today than before. Two thirds of respondents (66%, a drop of 11 percentage points on March) expressed the fear that nuclear weapons could be used against Ukraine, just under half (47%, a drop of 18 points) that they might be deployed against Poland and slightly over a third (37%, a drop of 25 points) that other NATO countries could be targeted.

Household Coal Supplies

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Results from the October survey show that by the middle of the month those households that use coal for heating were in a better situation than in August, although a large proportion still had no supplies at all. This applied to 36% of respondents (4 percentage points fewer than in mid August). Another large group (29%, six points fewer than before) said their supply was rather small. Another 16% claimed that, although they had a reasonable supply, this was not enough for the whole cold season. The proportion of those who said they had enough coal for the whole season had doubled since August (from 9% to 18%).

Going Away during the Summer Holidays

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This year a smaller proportion of children and school-aged young people went away on a holiday of at least a week than did last year. The number of households paying for such a holiday for at least some of their school students dropped by 4 percentage points, while those funding a holiday for all of them dropped by 6 points. The declared holiday figures are the same as 2019, the year preceding the pandemic, and almost identical to those from 2017. As in previous years, most of the holidays were in Poland, even so tourism within the country noted a clear fall in demand, while foreign travel was more popular than in 2019–2021.

State Response to the Ecological Disaster on the River Oders

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The reaction of the Polish state to the ecological disaster developing on the River Oder since at least late July has met with a mostly negative assessment. Close to two thirds of Poles (63%) are critical, including almost two fifths (37%) who are categorically so. Just under a quarter of people surveyed (23%) are of the opposite opinion.

Heating Worries

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The last CBOS survey asked Poles about their anxieties connected with keeping warm during the forthcoming cold season. A clear majority (79%) of the people who still have coal-fired heating – a not inconsiderable number – predict that their households will have trouble buying fuel this year. Most often people are worried both about the availability of coal and its price (46%). Less frequent are concerns about high prices only (22%) or availability only (11%).

Sanctions against Russia – Who Feels Them Most?

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The CBOS survey in August asked Poles whether the sanctions the west had imposed on Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine were being felt more by Russians or more by people living in the European Union. The dominant opinion was that both Russians and Europeans were equally affected (38%). However, almost a third of those surveyed (31%) thought the impact was greater on people living in EU countries. Interestingly (apart from the don’t knows at 9%), the least frequently chosen answer (22%) was that sanctions were being felt most by Russians, i.e. those they were actually aimed at.

What is Important when Deciding where to Live?

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In a recent CBOS survey Poles were asked to look at a list of factors affecting the decision of where to live, and to choose the four most important to them. The largest part of those surveyed wanted a safe area (57%). Maintenance costs were the second most common aspect chosen (43%). Availability of services – schools, nurseries, shops etc. – was important for a significant group (36%), as was contact with nature, either through having a garden of their own (35%) or having green open space nearby (33%). Transport options were also key: almost a quarter of respondents mentioned good access to public transport (24%) and almost as many (23%) the time it would take to get to work or school.

The Reproductive Needs of Poles

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The recent survey about the reproductive plans of Polish people shows that 21% of the youngest respondents (18–24 years old) do not want children at all. If they understood the question correctly this means that over a fifth of young people are not planning to have offspring. Overall, unwillingness to have children is unrelated to sex, with 7% of both women and men saying this. Other groups who are less likely to plan offspring are those not practising any religion (17%), identifying politically with the left (16%) or earning at least 4,000 zloty per household member (14%).

The Right to Own Firearms

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In the July CBOS survey people were asked how widespread or how limited they thought the right to own firearms should be in Poland. The largest group of respondents (35%) thought that the current regulations concerning ease of access to firearms and how many people should have them were perfectly adequate. The same number thought the criteria should be more stringent, but they split into two groups: 9% said the current regulations were too liberal, that too many people were in possession of arms and numbers should be limited, while 26% declared that only members of the appropriate uniformed forces should have the right to possess firearms. Fewer than a quarter of the people surveyed (23%) were in favour of relaxing the rules, with 18% saying that access should still be regulated but extend to a greater number of citizens, while only one in twenty (5%) were of the opinion that every citizen should have the right to bear arms unless banned from doing so by a court of law. No opinion was expressed by 7% of those asked.

How Should Poland Support Refugees from Ukraine?

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In the CBOS July survey Poles were asked about what kind of help they thought their state should offer refugees from Ukraine. A decided majority of respondents said refugees should be helped with maintenance during the first months of the war (87%) and with finding work in Poland (85%). As for help with settling in Poland permanently, opinions were divided, but with more respondents being against this (47%) than in favour (36%). Likewise a majority of those surveyed (56%) thought the state should not give refugees maintenance support for the whole duration of the war, with 31% being of the opposite view. Of course nobody knows how long the war will last, or even when its ‘first months’ will come to an end – months during which, in the opinion of the decided majority of respondents, refugees should be supported by the state. However, taking into account the clear approval for helping them to find work, it would be safe to assume that the majority of Polish people expect refugees to become self-supporting as quickly as possible.

At What Point Will the Inflation Rate Stop Rising?

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Inflation in Poland has reached a 25-year high. In June prices of goods and services were 15.5% higher than in June 2021.

Directions in Housing Policy

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The beginning of the year saw a change in building regulations, which no longer require planning permission for the construction of single-family houses of up to 70 sq m for one’s own use. The government have also announced a new law, to come into force in 2023, abolishing the need to get planning permission for single-family houses for one’s own use, regardless of size. In addition, the Homes without Deposits programme has started, which aims to help creditworthy people buy homes even if they don’t have enough money saved for a deposit.

Drop in Pope Francis’ Authority

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Recently there has been a significant change in how Pope Francis is perceived. In surveys carried out in 2014 and 2015 over four fifths of respondents (83% and 84% respectively) stated that the pope was an important moral authority for them. Currently he remains an authority for 57% of Polish adults. Without doubt the worsening of Pope Francis’ image is largely the effect of his reaction to the Russia–Ukraine war, which is not in sync with the general feeling of Polish society.

Would Polish People Fight Back Like Ukrainians?

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Recently a question has been appearing in various forms in Polish public debate: in a hypothetical scenario, in which Poland found itself in a similar situation to Ukraine today, would Poles fight back like the Ukrainians are now? CBOS asked this question in the June survey and found that respondents’ opinions were rather divided. The dominant feeling was that Poles would do as well as Ukrainians (40%), while 27% thought Poles would do worse and 21% that they’d do better, with 12% of those surveyed not having an opinion on this subject.

Fewer People Worried about Catching Covid-19

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In the first survey since the lifting of the state of epidemic in Poland, CBOS has noted a further drop in anxiety connected with catching the coronavirus. Compared to May, in June the percentage of people worried about catching it has dropped (by 6 points, from 36% to 30%), while the percentage of those not expressing such a fear has risen (from 63% to 68%). The anxiety level in June is the lowest since March 2020, when CBOS began monitoring this.

Increased Support for the Territorial Army

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There has been a huge increase in support for the existence of the Territorial Army since February 2017, when CBOS first asked people what they thought of the then newly created defensive force. Currently over two thirds (67%) of Polish adults are in favour, with two fifths (40%) declaring strong support, making a surge in approval for the TA of 18 percentage points in total. There has been a corresponding plummet (of 16 points) in opponents of the TA, in particular of those who were strongly against its existence (12 points).

Is Poland’s Independence under Threat?

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Polish people’s opinions about the threat to the country’s independence are currently very divided. During the first half of May only an insignificant majority of respondents thought there was currently no genuine threat to Poland’s independence (43%) compared to those (42%) who considered such a threat was real, with 15% not having a clear opinion.

Internet Use Is on the up

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Over three quarters of the adults surveyed (77%) say they use the internet regularly, an increase of four percentage points on last year. Over the two years of the coronavirus pandemic the increase has been nine points.

People Are Feeling Less Threatened by the War in Ukraine

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Almost three quarters (73%) of those surveyed are worried that the war in Ukraine is a threat to the security of Poland. Even so, the level of anxiety is gradually lessening: the group of those who think that this war is definitely a threat has decreased by 13 percentage points over the last month (from 42% to 29%). This is part of a general change. At the beginning of March, soon after the war broke out, 85% of respondents felt it was a threat to the security of Poland, a month later this was down to 79%, and now there has been a further drop of 6 points.

Polish – American Relations

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Currently Polish – American relations are seen as good by almost three quarters of those asked (73%), 16% think they are neither good nor bad, while only a very few (2%) see them as bad, and 9% can’t or won’t say. These are the best ratings of Polish – American relations since March 1990, when 80% of those surveyed characterised relations as good. There have been dynamic changes to these assessments during the twenty-first century. The low point was in November 2012, when only almost every third respondent (32%) saw relations as good. The ratings gradually improved over the years, with particularly clear changes in October 2020 and April of this year. In effect, the percentage of respondents who think Polish – American relations are good is now 21 points higher than in July 2019. Since the start of the political transformation in Poland people assessing these relations as bad have been in a decided minority. Decreases or increases in positive assessments are associated with corresponding rises or drops in those saying they are neither good nor bad.

How Are Polish People Helping Refugees from Ukraine? Як поляки допомагають біженцям з України?

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Close to two thirds of the people surveyed (63%) admit that they or members of their household are helping refugees from Ukraine. Most frequently this is in the form of material or financial help. Three quarters of those who say they’re helping do so by donating things such as clothes, toiletries or food (75%), while six out of ten donate money (59%). Other forms of helping, which require more personal engagement, are less common. These include organising collections or other charitable actions (12%), assistance in arrangements with officials, health centres or schools (10%), making available living space in a house or flat (8%), preparing meals (6%), volunteering in a reception or short stay centre (6%) and transporting people from the Polish-Ukrainian border (3%).

Religious Practice during Lent and Easter

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Since the last survey two years ago, there has been a clear change in Polish people’s participation in religious practices over Lent and Easter. Percentages of those taking part in each of the practices included in the survey are significantly lower, from 7 to as many as 15 percentage points. Unchangingly, the most people are those who fast on Good Friday (75%, a drop of 10 points), just over half go to confession at Easter (54%, a drop of 15 points) or receive ash on their forehead on Ash Wednesday (54%, a drop of 12 points). Almost a half of Poles takes part in some church services during the Paschal Triduum, which starts in the evening of Maundy Thursday and closes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday (48%, a drop of 10 points), while around two fifths participate in a retreat during Lent (43%, a drop of 8 points), the devotions of the Way of the Cross or the (specifically Polish) Bitter Lamentations (43%, a drop of 10 points) and the Easter Vigil (39%, a drop of 7 points)

Should the European Union Bring in an Embargo on Russian Oil and Gas? Чи Європейський Союз повинен ввести ембарго на російську нафту та газ?

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An embargo on energy resources is among those sanctions that will hurt Russia most. For now, the European Union has confirmed a ban on coal imports from Russia (from August 2022), but the call to bring in an embargo on Russian oil and gas is creating substantially more controversy among the nations of the EU. This move has the rather unequivocal support of public opinion in Poland, with a total of four fifths of those surveyed (80%) being in favour of blocking imports of Russian oil and gas. Only 9% are against.

Twenty-five Years since the Passing of the Polish Constitution

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Despite the widespread conviction among Polish people that the principles and articles enshrined in the constitution have great significance in the life of ordinary citizens (77%), and knowledge of them is essential (70%), only a very few (14%) say they have read the constitution in full.

Polish Attitudes to Refugees from Ukraine. Ставлення поляків до біженців з України

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Poles are in principle unanimous on the subject of accepting refugees from Ukraine. Over nine out of ten of the people surveyed (94%) say that Poland should accept them, and virtually three fifths (57%) say so categorically. Barely three in a hundred (3%) are of the opposite opinion.

Polish Reactions to the War in Ukraine. Реакція поляків на війну в Україні

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The vast majority of Poles (88%) are following the events in Ukraine carefully. Over two thirds (68%) are helping Ukrainians in some way, e.g. through donations of money or goods. Over half (57%) are boycotting Russian products. Considerably fewer people report taking action to safeguard themselves or their family from the possible negative effects of the war: 11% are stocking up on cash, 8% are getting in supplies of food and other necessities, and 4% are stocking up on fuel. Some people are planning to leave for a safer place or are thinking about doing so, with more people of the opinion that would mean leaving the country (8%) than moving to somewhere else in Poland (4%).

Record Support for Polish Membership of NATO

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Support for NATO membership is currently at the highest point since CBOS records began. Poland’s membership is supported by 94% of Polish people, with 75% being strongly in favour. A mere 0.5% of respondents are against, while 3% don’t care.

Polish Anxieties

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In the first ten days of February the majority of Polish adults said that what they were most worried about at present were rising prices (71%), war (70%) or illness (64%). Two weeks before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, war was the prime cause of concern among women (indicated by 74% of women as one of the five things they found most worrying), while men were more likely to be anxious about rising prices (70%). When comparing the two groups, it is clear that, while both mention rising prices with similar frequency (72% women, 70% men), women were much more likely to mention war (74% as against 66%). War was also a more frequent concern for older people (77% among the 55–64 age group) and of least concern to the youngest (60% among people aged 18–24).

Fall in Readiness to Cooperate

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CBOS has been looking at Polish people’s attitude to cooperation for two decades, which allows for observation of long-term changes in this respect. Choosing from pre-prepared responses, people this year most frequently put them in the same order as in previous surveys. In first place was readiness to lend a valuable item to someone they knew (60%), somewhat less frequent was the inclination to help (without being paid) with work to improve the shared environment or to bring help to the needy (50%), and engage in shared business activity (39%). Knowing somebody whom they were willing to help get elected to parliament or to the local council was least frequent (31%).

The Polski Ład Tax Changes in Practice

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The beginning of 2022 was also the start of the government’s Polski Ład (Polish Deal) programme, which brought in changes to the tax system. In February CBOS asked respondents whether these changes had caused any problems in working out employees’ take-home pay or paying them on time. Every fifth employed person declared that such problems had occurred in their workplace (20%), while almost two thirds (64%) said they had not. One in six (16%) of working people did not really know.

Going on Holiday in 2021

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After a big drop in 2020, the second year of the pandemic saw a significant rise in respondents who went away for at least two days. Even though they were fewer than in 2018, a record year, and in 2019, the last year before the pandemic, the long view seems to be that people have begun to return to their old habits. From respondents’ answers it can be seen that in 2021 the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic on whether to do without a break was considerably weaker than it had been in 2020, with financial issues taking the lead again.

Participation in Cultural Activities

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In 2021 Polish people participated in cultural activities to a greater extent than in the previous year but less frequently than in 2019, the last year before the pandemic. Over a third of those surveyed (36%, a rise of 10 percentage points over 2020) had been to the cinema, and a quarter (25%) had been more than once. Similarly, compared to 2020 more people had gone to a concert (25%, a rise of 11 points), to an exhibition, art gallery or museum (25%, up 9 points) or to the theatre, which showed the lowest rise (12%, up only 3 points).

How Effective will the Anti-Inflation Shield Be?

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The majority verdict is that government measures contained in the anti-inflation shield will be effective in mitigating rising prices – albeit to a rather limited extent (46%) rather than significantly (9%). At the same time, almost one in three of those surveyed (32%) thought they would make no difference.

Should vaccination for Covid-19 be compulsory?

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Almost two fifths of those surveyed thought that Covid vaccination should be compulsory for everyone (38%, a rise of 9 percentage points on August 2021), a further 13% believed it should be compulsory only for particular groups of people, while 43% wanted it to be completely voluntary.

A More Modest Christmas than Last Year

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Every other December CBOS asks Polish people whether their family Christmas that year will be as lavish as the previous one. The results of the 2019 survey were virtually identical to those of two years earlier: a decided majority of respondents (87%) said their family Christmas would be the same as before. While this is still the dominant reply (72%), it nonetheless shows a drop of 15 percentage points. At the same time, the percentage of people anticipating a more modest Christmas has increased almost five-fold, with virtually one in four respondents giving this answer (23% as against 5% in 2019). In addition, the already small percentage expecting a more lavish Christmas has halved. These clear changes can most likely be attributed to the uncertain situation of the country’s economy.

Confidence in NATO

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CBOS has been measuring Polish people’s confidence in NATO since 2014. From the time of the last survey, in February 2020, there has been a significant drop in confidence, which is now at an all-time low. Almost half the respondents (49%, a drop of 19 percentage points) believe Poland can be sure of the full involvement of our allies if it proved necessary to defend our borders, while over a third (36%, a rise of 13 points) – the most so far – are of the opposite opinion. The only time that confidence in NATO’s support has been almost as low was in September 2014, during the first year of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine (more specifically, after the Newport summit at which representatives of the allied nations condemned Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine).

Looking Back on Martial Law

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Just under half of adult Poles (47%) remember the exact date martial law was brought in, 13 December 1981, while almost a fifth (19%) are completely unfamiliar with this date. More than half of respondents over the age of 44 remember the date, while only about a quarter of those aged up to 34 do so.

Should Employers Be Able to Find Out which Employees Are Vaccinated?

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In the November survey respondents were asked their views on plans that would give employers the means to check which of their employees have been vaccinated. Over half of those surveyed thought that employers should have access to such information (52%) while somewhat over two fifths were of the opposite view (42%). Although the situation with the pandemic has got much worse since September, opinions on this point are relatively unchanged. The percentage of respondents allowing employers access to such information has risen by 3 percentage points, while the percentage of those who disagree with this has barely changed (a drop of 1 point).

Perceptions of Polish Sovereignty within the EU

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In the opinion of over half the people asked (52%) membership of the EU does not particularly limit Poland’s independence. One third of those surveyed (34%) held the opposite view. Despite escalation of the dispute between Poland and the EU, opinions on this matter have remained fairly stable over time. What is more, the restrictions that Poland’s membership of the EU entails are less frequently seen as excessive now than they were prior to 2016.

Strategies in the Face of Inflation

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Inflation in Poland is the highest it has been for 20 years. People have a variety of methods for coping with rising prices. A decided majority try to limit what they spend on their everyday shopping either by buying less or by seeking out cheaper products (75%). When faced with inflation many people put off major outlays or pull out of them altogether (64%), limit their usage of water, gas and electricity (63%) or their expenditure on entertainment, holidays and cultural events (57%). There are also people who do the exact opposite: concerned that prices will keep going up, they start stockpiling (18%).

Every Fourth Pole Followed the Chopin Competition

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In the CBOS October survey people were asked whether they followed the eighteenth International Chopin Piano Competition held in Warsaw that month. Every fourth respondent (26%) gave an affirmative reply. Compared to the survey carried out six years ago on the occasion of the competition’s previous edition, this was a decrease of 3 percentage points in audience size. Now as then, more women (30%) followed the competition, as did more people over 65 (41%), big city dwellers (38%), those with higher education (32%) and with per capita incomes of at least 3000 zloty a month (35%).

The National Recovery Plan

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Close to half of Polish people surveyed (49%) think that the European Commission’s delay in approving Poland’s National Recovery Plan and transferring money from the EU’s recovery fund is an unacceptable form of putting pressure on the Polish government. Almost a third of respondents (31%) approve of the EC’s course of action.

The Pay Demands of Protesting Medical Personnel

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The countrywide health service workers’ protest began on September 11. The protestors have drawn up eight demands; most discussion has been provoked by the one concerning minimum basic pay rates for the different health service worker groups. In the CBOS October survey, people were asked about their attitudes to the pay demands of selected groups.

Summer Holidays in the Second Year of the Pandemic

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During this year’s summer break from school, decidedly more schoolchildren than last year went away for at least a week. The total percentage of households organising this sort of holiday for their school-age children rose by 26 points on last year (from 46% to 72%) and there was a rise of 22 percentage points in households where all school-age children went away. It has to be stressed that 2020 was in this respect one of the worst years since CBOS records began: in the period 1993–2021 there have only been four years when a majority of families did not ensure a holiday for their children. One must also remember that last year’s drop came after a very good five-year period, during which most of the households surveyed reported that all their school-age children had been away for a summer holiday of at least a week. This year’s responses are virtually the same as in 2018, which was a record year. It would therefore seem that, in this second pandemic summer, more children and young people of school age have been away than in 2019, the summer immediately before the pandemic began.

Improvement in Polish Attitudes to Gay Men and Lesbians

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A clear improvement in people’s attitudes to gay men and lesbians can be seen when comparing current survey results with those of two years ago. Every third respondent (34%) now believes that they should be able to be open about their orientation in public (an increase of 6 percentage points on 2019). Likewise, a third of the people surveyed are of the opinion that lesbian and gay couples should be able to marry (an increase of 5 points on 2019). Moreover, the percentage of Poles in favour of giving gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt children has virtually doubled – from 9% in the previous survey to a current high of 16%. It is worth noting that, although these increases have mostly been at the expense of the opposite opinions, in all three areas there has also been a rise in ‘Hard to say’ answers. This means that at present about every tenth respondent has no view on these issues.

Polish Taste in Books

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The reading preferences of Polish people are subject to constant change, as can be seen from the differing numbers of respondents indicating particular literary genres over the years. In 2007 and 2011 adventure and travel books were the most popular with readers, but by 2021 interest in them had dropped off (by 8 percentage points on 2011 and 12 points on 2007). Currently, the most frequently indicated types (25%) are crime fiction and true crime. The popularity of self-help books has also diminished with the passage of time: these are now chosen by only 12% of those surveyed (compared to 24% in 2007). The least popular books remain: poetry (5%), contemporary literary fiction (5%) and comic books or graphic novels (only 3%)
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