The role of local government as a stabilizer of the functioning of the state in the period of political and systemic crisis in Poland
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Wydział Nauk Politycznych i Studiów Międzynarodowych, Uniwersytet Warszawski
Publication date: 2023-04-04
Studia Politologiczne 2023;67
In the 2018–2022 (2023) term of office of local government bodies, numerous cases of transferring problems generated by national policy to local governments can be indicated. The commune self-government, being the entity closest to the citizens in terms of handling most matters, experiences the effects of actions taken at the level of systemic and national regulations, as well as being the object of specific actions initiated at the central level. Among the numerous challenges in which the local government plays a stabilizing role in the state, taking over responsibility for solving problems in emergency situations, it is worth paying attention to the activities related to helping refugees after the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war. The decision of the Polish government to open borders to millions of refugees was not preceded by proper preparation. The assumption of this analysis is based on the claim that without bottom-up activation of the local government and its organizational units as well as inhabitants of communes, accepting the largest number of refugees in the history of Poland could have caused the paralysis of the state and a humanitarian crisis. The main question is whether we can talk about the success of the government or the local government in this matter.
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