2009 | 3(92) | 101-120
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THE SEJM OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND AND THE REPERESENTATION OF INTERESTS (Sejm Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej a reprezentacja interesów)

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The Sejm of today should be seen in connection with the entire system of representation of interests, where parliamentary representation is only one of the platforms in which different interests are manifested. Poland should adopt solutions to organize her system of governance and system of organization of public interests in a way enabling her to protect the interests of the state and its people in the globalised world. The perception of the Sejm, in the context of the emergence of extra-parliamentary forms of representation of interests, seems to be of utmost importance for parliamentarism in Poland. What is at issue is the political and organizational ability of the Sejm to discourse with the most widely comprehended representation of public interests, performed either by the political parties and corporations, or by lobbyists. It determines, on the one hand, the cohesion of the system of governance, and on the other - its ability to claim public legitimacy. Due to its lawmaking function, the Sejm should be treated as an organ in which the activities reflecting different interests of various elements of the society are concentrated. This means, as a consequence, that it has to gather together all forms of representation of interests, since this is now the most important issue for the development of Polish parliamentarism. The system of representation of interests and the system of governance must be perceived as a combination of an organized civil society (with a well-developed system of representation of interests) and an effectively functioning representation within the system of governance (in particular, the Sejm). In Poland, participatory democracy is particularly desirable, mostly because of the weakness of her parliamentary system and a definitely negative view of parliament expressed in public opinion polls. A multitude of newly created systems of representation of interests would contribute to effective protection of interests and promote the legitimacy of governance. To this end, above all, the instruments of lobbying and corporativism. The Treaty of Lisbon, giving the opportunity to find proper solutions for strengthening the position and function of the Sejm within the system of governance, forces changes which should enable Poland to contribute effectively in the lawmaking process. Increase of powers of European Parliament in that area results in the need for greater symmetry of power in Polish solutions. The task of Poland's effective involvement in the system of the European Union may be accomplished by establishing of mew mechanisms of operation of the Sejm (and the Senate) to be supported by activities of institutions representing interests. The recognition of the liability of the state for legislative unlawfulness places the sejm in a new position in relation to the sovereign. The case of claiming damages for 'legislative nonfeasance' is of special significance in this respect. However, its application may be limited.
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  • Anna Labno, Uniwersytet Slaski w Katowicach, Wydzial Prawa i Administracji, ul. Bankowa 11b, 40-007 Katowice, Poland
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