“Law Barometer”: It is physically impossible for citizens and companies to keep up with the regulations

Luc Williams

Analysis by Grant Thornton experts shows that the number of legal regulations in Poland is growing every year, which neither citizens nor company representatives are able to keep up to date. Citing data from the website Gofin.pl, which analyzes legal changes for companies, the authors of the “Law Barometer” wrote that in 2023, 1,051 regulations changed and 553 new regulations entered into force. They also noted that only 41 regulations were repealed in the same period.

The main source of new law last year were government administration regulations

In their opinion, in order to learn the meaning of the newly adopted regulations, an entrepreneur or an ordinary citizen would have to devote up to several hours a day to reading and understanding them. However, if we add other sources of law, such as European Union regulations, explanations, resolutions, tax interpretations or court decisions, then – as they stated – it is not physically possible to keep up to date with all changes in Polish law.

This – as Tomasz Wróblewski, managing partner of Grant Thornton, assessed – significantly hinders business operations in Poland. “Law that is unclear, redundant, unpredictable and changed in chaos suspends development decisions. (…) such law leads to companies losing the ability to compete and going out of business,” he wrote in a commentary to the report.

The authors of the publication also drew attention to the poor quality of public consultations. “For every fourth bill published in the Government Legislation Center there is no documentation from consultations, and for every second bill the legislator did not respond to the submitted comments,” they wrote. Another disturbing phenomenon – in their opinion – is the shortening of vacatio legis, which means that companies have too little time to introduce changes. They calculated that the 20 most important economic laws have been amended a total of 1,189 times over the last 10 years, and their volume in terms of the number of pages increased by 53%.

Last year, the main source of new law were government administration regulations, but much less frequently acts or international agreements. In 2023, over 30,000 were implemented. pages of government regulations (which is the highest level in history), compared to 3.5 thousand pages of laws and 0.5 thousand parties to international agreements.

It was written that over the last decade the average waiting period for bills to be signed by the President of the Republic of Poland has significantly shortened. it was calculated that in the first years of his term in power, Andrzej Duda needed 10-12 days before signing, while since 2020, i.e. since the outbreak of the pandemic, the pace of signing by the president has shortened on average to 6-7 (after so many days from the submission by parliament signed). It is worth being aware that the president's signature is the last stage of the legislative process (…), calm, in-depth analysis is particularly necessary at this stage, and certainly no less important than at other stages,” it was emphasized.

author: Ewa Wesołowska


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