Poland: Far-left NGO received over €30,000 for drafting plan to remove crosses in Warsaw

According to the Ordo Iuris Institute, the circumstances surrounding the selection of the foundation through a competitive process have raised serious concerns

Warsaw's Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski issued an order that bans religious symbols in the capital's public offices. (AP Photo/Michal Dyjuk)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

Left-wing NGOs in Poland are making big bucks with anti-Christian policies, with one Warsaw-based foundation earning tens of thousands of euros for drafting the plan to remove religious symbols from public buildings in Warsaw.

The organization, the “Institute for Human Rights Cities,” concocted the proposal to ban religious symbols in the capital’s public offices, which sparked widespread outrage among religious and conservative groups. According to the Ordo Iuris Institute, the circumstances surrounding the selection of the foundation through a competitive process have raised serious concerns.

Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski signed the order for the introduction of “equal treatment standards” in the city’s offices. The decision not only prohibits the hanging of crosses in city buildings but also forbids office workers from displaying religious symbols at their desks. The directive also specifies that city officials should address transgender or non-binary individuals using their preferred pronouns.

The order has caused an uproar among Catholic and conservative circles. It turns out that the foundation “Institute for Human Rights Cities” crafted the document signed by Rafał Trzaskowski and was paid nearly 130,000 złoty (over €30,000) for their work.

The Ordo Iuris Institute reports that the process of selecting the foundation as the contractor raises significant doubts. According to the institute, the foundation changed its parameters just before the competition was announced so that it “perfectly met the criteria for organizations preparing internal documents for the city.”

The competition to develop the document was announced on April 5 last year. However, documents from the National Court Register (KRS) reveal that just a month earlier, on March 8, 2023, the foundation changed its name from “Open Ideas” to “Institute for Human Rights Cities.” Additionally, its statutory objectives were amended to include support for “the processes of creating and implementing internal policies of institutions and organizations.”

Moreover, before the results of the competition were announced, Katarzyna Wilkołaska, who had served in the Warsaw city hall as Rafał Trzaskowski’s commissioner for women’s affairs from June 6, 2019, to Oct. 14, 2021, and later as an assistant to the far-left MEP Sylwia Spurek from 2021 to 2023, joined the foundation’s board.

Members of the foundation also include Marta Abramowicz and Anna Strzałkowska, LGBT activists living in a homosexual relationship and known for their numerous statements calling for the destruction of the Catholic Church.

Ordo Iuris emphasizes that Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski’s order “was not a spontaneous action.”

“Serious doubts arise from the fact that both the foundation’s name and its statutory objectives were changed just before the competition was announced, which gives the impression that the foundation’s activists knew in advance about the competition,” said Nikodem Bernaciak, senior analyst at the Ordo Iuris Research and Analysis Center.

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