Obstacles on the way to a national referendum in Poland

  1. A large number of signatures of support is required to initiate a nationwide referendum. In the case of a constitutional law, the signatures of at least 500,000 citizens entitled to vote are needed. In the case of an ordinary law, the signatures of at least 100,000 citizens entitled to vote are required. Collecting signatures can be difficult and time-consuming.
  2. The Marshal of the Sejm is not obliged to submit to a referendum a specific provision proposed by citizens. In this case, there is no appeal procedure (see zmieleni.pl)
  3. The Sejm must agree to hold a nationwide referendum initiated by the citizens. For this resolution to be effective, it must obtain at least 2/3 of the votes of the statutory number of deputies. If the Sejm of the Republic of Poland does not consent to the referendum, the initiators may submit a request for a referendum to the Constitutional Tribunal, which will take the final decision on compliance with the Polish Constitution.
  4. The president must agree to a referendum initiated by the people.
  5. For the result of the referendum to be valid and the decision taken in the referendum to be binding, the requirement of at least 50% turnout of eligible voters must be met.

Other information:
– The rules for holding a nationwide referendum are regulated by the Act of 3 November 2016 on the national referendum.
– The initiative to convene a nationwide referendum belongs to the President of the Republic of Poland, the Senate of the Republic of Poland, the Sejm of the Republic of Poland and the citizens of the Republic of Poland.
– A referendum on the initiative of citizens may not concern:
1. expenses and revenues, in particular taxes and other public levies
, 2. state defense,
3. amnesty.