Policy Profile Poland


Poland is a member state of the European Union and is, therefore, required to implement all EU directives, laws, regulations and policies, including those related to heritage and culture.

Poland, Europe and the EU

The European Commission has Representation Offices in Warsaw and Wrocław and the European Parliament has Liason Offices in Warsaw and Wrocław. There is a Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the European Union in Brussels.

National Cultural Policy in Poland

There are two Cultural Commissions responsible for legislation in the cultural field, one in each house of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland (the lower house – Sejm and the upper house – Senat). However, the Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego (Ministry of Culture and National Heritage) remains the main body shaping the cultural policy at national level. The Ministry is divided into different departments, including the Departament Dziedzictwa Kulturowego (Department of Cultural Heritage). The Ministry is in charge of supporting specific public cultural institutions that are active a given field of culture (e.g. national museums, National Heritage Board of Poland whose mission is to create the basis for sustainable protection of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. the International Cultural Centre that among other topics deals with the heritage of Central Europe), a right also granted to other ministries (e.g. the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Ministry of National Defence). For example, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs established the Adam Mickiewicz Institute whose field of action is the promotion of Polish culture abroad. 

The protection of national heritage is also ensured by the Council for Museums and Sites of National Remembrance. It is a consultative and advisory body to the Ministry, working on cultural heritage protection in matters of management, financing and cultural policy in the field of museology and matters related to places of national memory, including extermination monuments.

Regional and Decentralised Policies in Poland

There are different regional levels for cultural administration bodies in Poland: the voivodeship (regional), poviat (district) and gmina (local) levels. These bodies have a  statutory obligation to undertake activities in the area of ​​culture and the protection and care of monuments. They are responsible for defining their own cultural policy as well as the financing of local government cultural institutions.

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* = This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence

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