The Intriguing Outcome of the 2019 Polish Parliamentary Election

On October 13, parliamentary election in Poland was held. After the national-conservative Law and Justice party (PiS) defeated the liberal Civic Platform (PO) in 2015, the country was faced with extensive reforms. Not only the socio-economic paradigm changed, from the liberal course to a generous welfare state embodied in newly introduced child allowance, a steady increase of the minimum wage, or lowering retirement age. Radical changes to the judiciary as well as taking control of the public media caused a massive outcry at home and abroad, raising concerns about the state of democracy in Poland. Therefore, this year’s election was labelled the most important ballot since the fall of communism 30 years ago.

The parliamentary election in Poland—the future at stake

On October 13th, a parliamentary election will take place in Poland. After four years of the Law and Justice party (PiS) in government, this is a much-awaited ballot. Most probably, however, the result will not determine whether the current political course will continue—but rather how radical it will be. As of today, there is no serious competition to the PiS in sight.

The V4 After the EP Election: Glass Half Empty, Half Full

The 2019 European Parliament election brought a visible decline in the popularity of the
centre-left and relatively good results for all kinds of right-wing populists are unsettling.
Fortunately, this tilt to the right is not significant enough to meaningfully affect the functioning
of the European Union. Looking at the election results in the Visegrád countries (V4), we see
how much they were determined by the dynamics of the domestic political scene.

Politics in Poland: eternal duopoly or refreshing breeze?

This month, the Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini of the Lega, travelled in search of possible partners for a ‘European spring’ alliance —‘a new plan for Europe’—comprising similar right-wing, populist, Eurosceptic movements. On his way, he had to stop by in Poland, governed since 2016 by the nationalist-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, which seems a natural partner for this enterprise.

Poland’s Left: Fragmented and in disarray

In the 2015 parliamentary elections, the results of the Polish Left were not good enough to enable them to win seats in the Polish parliament. Today, the biggest problem on the path towards challenging the governing national-conservative PiS party is that left wing parties are fragmented. Maria Skora looks back at the last elections and paints a picture of the state of the Left in Poland.

The illiberal tandem vs Europe

Poland and Hungary tend to be paired up when discussing the political crisis of the European Union (EU). The reason is the emergence of so-called “illiberal democracies” in these eastern member states, which do not comply with some of the founding values of the EU. Viktor Orbán seized power in Hungary in 2010, and he’s just won the elections for the third term. In Poland, the Law and Justice party (PiS) has taken over after winning parliamentary elections in late 2015. Shortly after, in the Krynica Forum in October 2016 both party leaders, Jarosław Kaczyński and Viktor Orbán, announced they would stand together for “cultural counter-revolution” and renewal of the post-Brexit EU. So, how long will it last?

In The European Spotlight: Future scenarios for the Visegrád Group

The Visegrád Group (V4) has lately been in the European spotlight. This once peripheral, regional alliance suddenly proved capable of single-cause impromptu mobilisation within the EU framework. In times of the European “polycrisis”, when the European community is facing a profound lack of agreement on which principles it should follow, questions emerge on how sustainable this alliance is and how it can affect the European Union (EU). What future scenario for the V4 would we wish for?

The V4 Lack a Shared Vision For Social Europe

The Visegrád Group (V4) has lately been in the European spotlight. This once peripheral, regional alliance suddenly proved capable of single-cause impromptu mobilisation within the EU-framework. In the middle of the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ it actively resisted the European Commission on relocation quotas. How sustainable is this new capacity and how can it affect the European Union? The opportunity to tackle these questions presents itself again due to the emerging debate on European social and labour policies.