Pictured from the left: ECS Director Basil Kersky, ECS Deputy Director Patricia Medowska and ECS Availability Coordinator Siluja Bruna

Author: Katarzyna Granacka / ECS Archive

The statement made by the President of ECS is a comment on the media publications that have appeared in recent days regarding Gdansk Association for the Disabled of the “Solidarity” movement. This organization has been renting an office for free since 2014 3rd floor of ECS. But in May, the association lost the competition over the next two years to use the office space.

Press conference with company representatives

The right to rent the office was obtained by 6 other parties that obtained the largest number of points in the evaluation of the Competition Committee. It consisted of employees of the ECS and representatives of social organizations and the city of Gdansk.

to me Clarify any doubts In this regard, management European Solidarity Center On Wednesday, June 29, he met with journalists. The course of the press conference was also heard by many representatives of the Gdask Association for the Disabled of the “Solidarity” movement, which has been operating for 32 years.

The credibility of ECS has been questioned

– There is a debate, and there are opinions on the one hand – this is good, but on the other hand there are unfortunately incorrect facts. We have faced accusations that we are an inaccessible public institution, and that we are not open to NGOs, especially those committed to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in their various forms. And the These statements hit the credibility of ECS And our commitment in recent years is to make this place not only a museum, conference and meeting place, but a workplace for completely different representatives of NGOs from very different regions – said the Director of ECS.

He emphasized that the issue of disability is particularly close to him also for personal reasons. – This topic is not strange to me, because I have a son who is 28 years old and he is – it is said – mentally disabled. For me, it is fully functional, but it needs care – he explained.

1100 square meters of open space for organizations

Basil Kreski explained that since 2014, ECS has gradually changed the way space on the third floor of a building is used from exclusively renting offices to a specific organization to open up the space.

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Deputy Director of ECS Patricia Medusca It was mentioned in 2014 ECS organized a competition to rent offices in 16 roomsAnd the Two years later – at fourteenAnd the in 2019-6And the And this year – on the fourth.

Five years ago, we decided that this form of closed office was not an appropriate form of support for NGOs. May quiz was around 88 square meters. all space Available on the third floor It covers an area of ​​1200 square meters. We care about your presence, so you can continue to do your activities in these rooms. Basil Kresky insisted that it be available to the association.

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The ECS Director emphasized that he is not afraid of criticism and is open to any opinions, even unfavorable ones.

– Very well – that’s what we are for, because we are responsible for the money of all taxpayers. But the image that has emerged that ECS excludes organizations, especially those concerned with people with disabilities, is false. It is wrong to say that this is a private and closed space. exactly the contrary: 1100 square meters outside this competition is available daily. He said that in the last epidemic year, 3,000 people used this place.

What is the area of ​​Daily Solidarity?

Patricia Medusca She emphasized that the third floor of ECS creates space daily solidarity.

– We are opening this space to other users who do not have the privilege to be in an office in ECS. that it Public space, accessible to everyone. Especially for those who work in the field of everyday solidarity, hence the name of this space. It is a concept that they are societies, but they are not exclusive but comprehensive societies. So we are not talking about the daily solidarity of a group, but about the daily solidarity of many groups – said the Deputy Director of ECS.

What are the criteria for the office rental competition?

She explained that the criteria for competition for the office lease were, inter alia, the objectives of the organization aligned with the mission of ECS and the presentation of a publishing activity plan Solidarity idea.

She was informed that she joined the last contest 12 organizationsThe Gdansk Association for the Disabled of the “Solidarity” movement received from the committee 55 points.

– But it wasn’t enough to get a private office. Other organizations made more attractive offers, for example, offered to come up with their offer to a wider audience. I took the enterprise 9th place In the competition – reported by Patrycja Medowska.

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In the Solidarność Codziennie space, which is not covered by the competition procedure, ECS provides organizations with free access to the Internet at predetermined hours after booking. Each room also has the option to connect a laptop.

Dispute after the press conference

After the press conference ended, the ECS management and the association’s representatives began a very emotional exchange, which lasted more than half an hour.

Members of the Gdask Association for the Disabled in the “Solidarity” movement said that the position of the ECS authorities is “Himalayan HypocrisyGdańsk PiS board member Przemysław Majewski claimed that the competition procedure was inherently non-transparent and subjective. A representative of the association stated that “if the president had lived Paweł AdamowiczIt certainly wouldn’t be a problem today, because it was very open to people with disabilities.”

President of the Gdansk Association for the Disabled of the “Solidarity” movement Edita Stupa I acknowledge that the organization has applied to use Solidarity daily space until March 2023.

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– I made the request just so I don’t lose 450 thousand zlotysget from Bferon. I made it clear that I could not personally take the risk of losing this money.

An unexpected and surprising offer from the ECS Director

Association activists also complained that they have no place to submit their documents, and that they must leave the ECS office on Thursday, June 30.

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– I have a suggestion. Do you have the prospect of getting a different place for an office? asked Basil Kresky.

And he heard in response: “We don’t.”

– is this you in my office. I resign from my office the moment the Assembly moves to another location. I’ll take out my things. But the competition is over. If you say that your activities and the safety of your management are in some way endangered, we will of course help you. But our cooperation with the closed office ended after eight years. We continue this throughout the ECS open space – Proposed by the Director of ECS, who indicated that the association was informed of the new competition already in January 2022.

The multiparty assets of ECS

Basil Kreski also referred to ECS’s past in his speech.

– 15 years ago, on November 8, 2007, The government of Jaroslav Kaczynski With the President of Gdansk Paweł Adamowicz The Marshall of the Pomeranian County Jan Kozowski Beautiful pluralism – and solidarity – built an extraordinary institution. Because it was meant to be not only Solidarity MuseumBut it is a place that is supposed to support the development of our society in many dimensions – he said.

There are not many public places for community workers

According to Basil Kersky, the disagreement with the association showed that Not enough office space in Tri-City and Gdańsk for this type of organization. – With this information, I will be very happy to visit the media and politicians with you. He appealed but please do not use ECS as a negative example.

– The problem with ECS, which is very interesting, is that our activity has gone beyond all the dimensions imagined by all those involved in the process. This building, for example, is designed for a quarter of a million people a year, a Last year, before the epidemic, 1.2 million people visited us. When these offices were designed, it seemed that there would be more of them than those willing – Basil Kersky emphasized.