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Onet: Grant from the US Embassy in Poland to the Open Dialogue Foundation

The Open Dialogue Foundation, headed by Lyudmyla Kozlovska, received PLN 71,000 from the U.S. Department of State for the promotion of the rule of law in Poland. – at the same time, the news site pointed out that the President herself, who is a Ukrainian citizen, cannot come to Poland as her name is on the national list of undesirable persons.

The site published information that the project “Demokratyczny fitness: przekształcamy obywateli w aktywnych uczestników życia publicznego poprzez ćwiczenia z demokracji” [“Democratic fitness: we transform citizens into active participants of public life through exercises in democracy”], is financed by the State Department through the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, and online classes will be conducted by, among others, former spokesman of the National Council of the Judiciary, Waldemar Żurek, and spokesman of the Themis Association, Dariusz Mazur.

Lyudmyla Kozlovska herself commented on the grant, saying: “The project is fully non-political and aims to promote the rule of law through education, including practical activities for high school students. It is difficult for us to assess the extent to which the state of the rule of law in Poland in recent years has contributed to particular decisions of the funder.This is not support for us, but for the rule of law and Polish society, which will be the ultimate beneficiary of the activities. In our opinion, the situation with the rule of law in Poland is a serious challenge and the problem is broader than just the so-called reform of the judiciary carried out in recent years, as there is hardly any high-quality education in this area” – Kozlovska emphasised.

Onet reiterated that although the President of the ODF promotes the rule of law in Poland, she cannot enter the country. On the 4th of August 2018, after her name was entered by Poland in the Schengen Information System (SIS), she was expelled from the European Union territory. “Less than a month later she was invited to the German Bundestag, and then to Brussels two weeks later, as well as other European countries. Today, she has received a five-year Belgian residence card from the district office in Brussels, where she currently lives. The document entitles  her to travel throughout the Schengen area. However, she cannot return to Poland as long as her name is included in the national list of undesirable persons” the website reads.


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