National Development Council proposes constitutional referendum questions

The National Development Council attended by President Andrzej Duda on Tuesday forwarded proposals of 15 questions for a constitutional referendum planned for the autumn.

Duda, who initiated the referendum, said at the beginning of the council sitting that he initially wanted it to field ten questions, but was ready to concede to 15 because he wanted the council to "discuss the issue."

The proposed questions are:

1. Are you for the passage of a new Constitution of the Republic of Poland - yes or no - or changes in the binding Constitution of the Republic of Poland - yes or no?

2. Are you for the introduction to the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of an obligation to confirm constitutional changes in a national referendum?

3. Are you for the introduction to the Constitution of an obligation to carry out a national referendum on issues of crucial importance to the state and nation if such a referendum is wished for by at least one million citizens?

4. Are you for the inclusion in the preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of a reference to Poland's and Europe's over thousand-year Christian heritage as an important source of our traditions, culture and national identity?

5. Are you for the constitutional anchoring of dedicated family aid through the introduction of the inviolability of acquired rights like the 500 Plus benefit?

6. Are you for the anchoring in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of special protection over the right to retirement benefits for women from the age of 60 and men from the age of 65?

7. Are you for the constitutional anchoring of the Republic of Poland's EU membership?

8. Are you for the inclusion in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of guarantees of Poland's sovereignty within the European Union and the priority of the Constitution over international and European law?

9. Are you for the constitutional anchoring of Poland's NATO - North Atlantic Alliance - membership?

10. Are you for the anchoring in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of special protection over Polish agriculture and Poland's food security?

11. Are you for the strengthening of the position of the family, including the protection of fatherhood rights alongside motherhood rights, in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland?

12. Are you for the constitutional protection of labour as the foundation of a social market economy?

13. Are you for the strengthening of the authority of the democratically elected president in the sphere of foreign policy and command over the Polish Armed Forces?

14. Are you for the inclusion in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of guarantees of special medical aid to pregnant women, children, disabled persons and the aged?

15. Are you for the anchoring in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of the division of local government into communes, counties and provinces?

President Andrzej Duda first announced his concept of a constitutional referendum in May 2017 during celebrations of the 226th anniversary of Poland's May 3, 1791, constitution, known as the May 3 Constitution. At the time, Duda proposed November 10-11 as the referendum date.

According to Polish Senate (upper house) Speaker Stanisław Karczewski, fifteen referendum question are too many. Karczewski also suggested "a little more work" on some of the queries.

"There's fifteen questions. I think that's too many for a referendum and certainly some should be removed, and a little more work should be done on some of the others," Karczewski told PAP.

President Duda needs the Senate's approval to go ahead with the referendum.

Beata Mazurek, spokesporsen for ruling party Law and Justice (PiS), said that the party's opinion about the referendum will be announced after the president moves for it to the Senate speaker.

At the earlier National Development Council sitting, Duda said the motion would be filed to the speaker no earlier than around July 20.