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Legislation Monitoring Centre
In Poland there is neither an internet portal nor an institution for employers responsible for monitoring the legislation process of regulations that determine the rules for business activity. At present employers  learn about changes in the law mainly from mass media or simply through the grapevine, usually with delay.



Excessive bureaucracy obstructs Polish entrepreneurs


Bureaucracy is one of the chief causes of restricting economic activity. Every year, many regulations of questionable quality are passed which creates obstacles for business. This picture is best illustrated by the Legal Environment Stability Barometer report elaborated by the consulting company Grant Thornton. According to it, 1995 legal acts came into force in Poland in 2014 alone. This translated to 25 634 typed pages, one third of which had either direct or indirect impact on the functioning of companies. The number of acts passed was lower both in countries with legal systems similar to Poland (France, Italy) and in states with a similar history of political changes and access to the EU (Slovakia, Czech Republic), which clearly indicates that there is little legal stability in in our country.


Fig. 1: Number of pages of legal acts passed in selected countries in 2014.



Source: Legal Environment Stability Barometer, Grant Thornton.


Since Poland’s entry in the European Union, a total of 205 757 pages of legal acts have been passed. The biggest increase in this regard occurred in the years preceding the access – which can be put down to the need to adapt our regulations to EU norms – but in the last four years, legal inflation has been growing at a surprising rate.


Fig. 2: Number of legal acts passed in Poland in 1989-2014



Source: Own elaboration based on the  Legal Environment Stability Barometer, Grant Thornton.


When it comes to the number of acts passed, Poland can also boast a high result, which most members of the parliament would probably consider as a proof that there work is not restricted to debates only. In 2014, the Sejm passed 186 acts).


Fig. 3: Acts passed by Sejm in 2012–2015



Source: Own elaboration based on data from Sejm.gov.pl.


Compared to other countries of the region, the absurdity of our „legislative diarrhea” is all the more evident. In the period between August 1st 2013 and August 1st 2014, only Romania passed more acts than Poland. Meanwhile, Poland passed twice as many acts as Czech Republic.


Fig. 4: Number of acts passed between August 1st 2013 and August 1st 2014



Source: Grayling AcTrend Report; Poland’s result corrected based on data from  Sejm.gov.pl (as of April 7th 2015 .).


Excessive specificity of regulations, as well as frequent changes resulting from hasty legislative procedures and a lack of consultations, mean that many companies have to hire lawyers. This is particularly problematic for SME’s who generate as much as 67 percent of Poland’s GDP and employ 75 percent of all working Poles. They cannot afford to monitor their legal environment as thoroughly as big corporation and are thus exposed to the risk of unwittingly violating regulations.


In light of this, it is hardly a surprise that bureaucracy has a negative impact on Poland’s results in international competitiveness rankings. The results shown below are not a cause for jubilation.


Table 1: Competitiveness rankings and Poland’s placement in them


Name of the ranking/report

Poland’s position/number of countries ranked

Previous position

Doing Business 2015

32 / 189


The Global Competitiveness Report 2014–2015

43 / 144


Index of Economic Freedom 2015

42/ 186


World Competitiveness Yearbook 2014

36 / 60


Raport Dobrobytu Instytutu Legatum

31 / 142


Paying Taxes 2015

87 / 189


  • Corrected due to achange in methodology in 2015


Opinions expressed in international reports seem to be shared by Polish entrepreneurs, for whom bureaucracy is one of the man factors blocking business development in Poland. In a report prepared by Grant Thornton, representatives of ca. 200 Polish private companies calculated that the income of medium and large companies could be higher by a total of 200 mln PLN, if not for administrative barriers.


Fig. 5: Percentage of entrepreneurs in selected countries, who considered bureaucracy as the main factor obstructing economic development in 2014.



Source: Own elaboration based on the  Legal Environment Stability Barometer, Grant Thornton..


Only simplifying regulations pertaining to business activity can change the current situation. Bureaucracy will continue to be a problem, unless legislators understand that the quality of law is much more important than quantity.