Solidarity Fund PL carries out activities aimed at fostering collaboration for the socio-economical developments beyond the Polish borders. In particular, the Fund supports democratic transformations, building of civil society, good governance, free media, human rights organisation, development of local democracy, and sharing experience on economic and systemic transitions. Since 2012, the Fund has sent Polish observers abroad as a part of the ODIHR/OSCE election-observation missions. The Fund’s key areas of focus are the Eastern Partnership countries: Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. In the past, it has also financed projects of Polish NGOs in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tunisia, and Myanmar. The Fund also has an office in Moldova, which manages an Information Centre for Local Authorities.
The Fund uses the logo of the first Polish presidency of the EU (in 2011), designed by Jerzy Janiszewski, the author of the graphic symbol of the “Solidarity” Trade Union.
The activities of the Fund are supported mainly with the Polish Development Cooperation funding, secured via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland. Other donors include USAID, GIZ, EuropeAid, and the governments of Canada and Switzerland.
Solidarity Fund PL both implements its own projects and organises grant competitions for Polish bodies within the scope of the Act of 24 April 2003 on activities of public interest and voluntary work. In carrying out its missions, the Fund collaborates with Polish and foreign governmental administration authorities, self-government units, NGOs, and schools.
Solidarity Fund PL is a State Treasury foundation. Initially named “Polish Foundation for Market Transformation «Know How»”, the Fund was established in 1997 at the initiative and under the honorary patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland. During its first years, the Fund focused on providing support to countries undergoing market transformations through projects carried out in Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Georgia, and other states. The Fund had also issued a number of publications on the Polish transformation experience. In 2002, the Fund changed its name to “Polish Foundation for International Cooperation for Development «Know How»”. In 2005, the Fund suspended its activities.
Due to the Republic of Poland’s growing commitment to cooperation for development, and in response to the need for supporting democratic transformations in other countries, the Minister of Foreign Affairs decided to reinitiate the activities of the Fund, appointing Mr Krzysztof Stanowski as its president. On 16 September 2011, the Development Cooperation Act was adopted, authorising the Minister of Foreign Affairs to order the Fund to carry out tasks for development cooperation in countries with specific political situation. In 2013, the Fund was renamed to Solidarity Fund PL.