The Polish Round Table Talks took place in Warsaw, Poland from February 6 to April 4, 1989. The government initiated the discussion with the banned trade union Solidarność and other opposition groups in an attempt to defuse growing social unrest.
Following the factory strikes of the early 1980s and the subsequent formation of the (then still underground) Solidarity movement under the leadership of Lech Wałęsa the political situation in Poland started relaxing somewhat. Despite an attempt by the government to crack down on the anti-Communist sentiments, the movement had gained too much momentum and it became impossible to hold off change anymore. In addition there was fear of a social explosion due to economic malaise and runaway inflation that had depressed Polish living standards and deepened public anger and frustration. By 1988 the authorities began serious talks with the opposition.
The sessions were divided into three main work groups:
Political reform workgroup
Union pluralism and party pluralism workgroup
Economy and social issues workgroup
Pay raises and indexation
Future pluralist elections
The limit of the future president's competence
The limit of competence for the future Sejm and Senate
The access to mass communication media by opposition forces
An agreement ("Round Table Agreement") was signed on April 4, 1989. The most important postulates, including those reflected in the April Novelization, were:
Legalization of independent trade unions
The introduction of the office of President (thereby annulling the power of the Communist party general secretary), who would be elected to a 6-year term
The formation of a Senate
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