NATO, army and EU Poles’ most trusted institutions; public media, top court and government most distrusted

NATO, the armed forces and the European Union remain Poles’ most trusted institutions, according to the latest version of a regular survey. Their most distrusted institutions are public media, the government and the Constitutional Tribunal (TK).

The poll, which has been conducted by research agency IBRiS for the Onet news website since 2016, shows that since last year Poles’ trust in all institutions has declined, with the police seeing the largest fall.

Three quarters (74.7%) of Poles said they trust NATO, down from the 82% recorded last year in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, this year’s figure is still higher than it was before last year’s peak.

Trust in the armed forces stands at 69.7% (down from 78.8% last year) and for the EU the figure is 53% (down from 62.1%). Those three institutions also made up the top three, in the same order, last year.

This year, they are followed by the police (46.7% trust, down from 61% last year), private media (45%) and the Senate (44.1%), the upper house of parliament in which the opposition has a majority.

IBRiS found that the institution with the highest level of distrust was public media (62.1%), which has been turned into a mouthpiece by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party. Other studies – for example by state pollster CBOS and researchers at Oxford University – have also found public media to be widely distrusted by Poles.

The second-most distrusted institution was the government (54.5%) followed by the TK (53.7%), which is also seen as being under the influence of PiS.

The TK has seen one of the largest declines in trust since 2016, falling from 43% to 29%. The Catholic church (58% to 42.4%) has also seen a big fall over that period, as have the police (70.4% to 46.7%).

State broadcaster TVP remains Poland’s least trusted major news source, finds an annual study by @risj_oxford, which notes that the station provides „skewed, pro-government coverage”.

The most trusted outlets are RMF FM, Polsat, Radio Zet and TVN

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) June 15, 2023

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Main image credit: SLAWOMIR KAMINSKI / Agencja

Daniel Tilles is editor-in-chief of Notes from Poland. He has written on Polish affairs for a wide range of publications, including Foreign PolicyPOLITICO EuropeEUobserver and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.

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