Res Publica Foundation and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands have the pleasure to invite you to the conference “The State of the Third Sector in Poland”, to be held on September 25th, 2018 at the Embassy (Kawalerii 10, Warsaw).

As Polish civil society continually adapts and changes, new developments include the creation of the National Freedom Institute in 2017 and the launch of a long-term program for the development of civil society. These developments create an opportunity to consider the quality, sustainability, and effectiveness of Polish civil society, 100 years after Poland regained independence and almost 30 years after the fall of communism.

Among all others, during the discussions, we will try find answers to the following questions: Does Poland have a strong third sector at present? What are the successes achieved? How do state policies influence the readiness of citizens to play a role within civil society? Does the third sector successfully manage to play its role as watchdog? Are there areas in which Polish society needs a stronger voice and more effective organizations? Is the sector sustainable, or is there a need for extra support in some areas? Is there a need and should there be a room for foreign funding?

The conference will bring together all engaged civil society participants, including the representatives of non-governmental organizations, administration officials, CSR specialists, grant operators, academics, international partners and, last but not least, the citizens.

Whatever the conclusions of the discussion are, what can be stated in advance is that the role civil society plays in a democracy, providing the measure for checks and balances, can only be exercised through experience. Therefore, the test for governments is the openness for activities of civil society, and continued support and encouragement of their existence.

Discussions at the conference will be enriched by the presence of international speakers from partner countries and diplomats, therefore the conference will be held in English.


9:30-10:00 registration for public event and coffee

10:00-10:10 Welcome remarks:

H.E. Ron J.P.M. van Dartel, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Poland
Wojciech Przybylski, Visegrad Insight, Res Publica

10:10-10:30 Opening remarks:

Wojciech Kaczmarczyk, Director, Narodowy Instytut Wolności – Centrum Rozwoju Społeczeństwa Obywatelskiego
A representative of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (TBC)

10:30-11:30 Ambassadorial conversation on the 3rd sector landscape in represented countries

H.E. Ron J.P.M. van Dartel, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to Poland
H.E. Jürg Burri, Ambassador of Switzerland to Poland
H.E. Olav Myklebust, Ambassador of Norway to Poland
chair: Marcin Zaborowski, Res Publica

11:30-11:45 coffee break

11:45-13:00 Panel Session 1: Challenges and opportunities: self-sustainability of civic society organizations

Wojciech Kaczmarczyk, Director of Narodowy Instytut Wolności
Mateusz Halicki, President of the Board of Ecorys Poland
Dawid Lasek, Vice-president of the Board of Carpathian Euroregion Association
Andrej Nosko, Director for Europe of PILnet
moderator: Wojciech Przybylski, President of the Board of Res Publica Foundation

13:00-13:45 networking lunch

13:45-15:00 Panel session 2: Myths and Realities of Civil Society: the role of civil societies

Łukasz Domagała, President of the Board of National Federation of Polish NGOs
Katarzyna Iwińska, Collegium Civitas, Member of the Board of Social Thought Club Initiatives
Dorota Pietrzyk-Reeves, Institute of Political Science and International Relations of the Jagiellonian University
Jakub Wygnański, President of the Board of The Unit for Social Innovation and Research “Shipyard”
moderator: Helena Chmielewska-Szlajfer, Assistant Professor at Koźmiński University, LSE Visiting Fellow

15:00-15:10 closing remarks


RSVP by Sept. 20th or contact us at


The conference is under the patronage of:

Media patronage: