One more country to test the EU project: Kaczynski’s Poland

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a Eurosceptic Polish politician, President of the Law and Justice party (PiS), which won last year an absolute majority in the legislative election and formed a single party government. © European Union, 2006 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Christian Lambiotte .

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a Eurosceptic Polish politician, President of the Law and Justice party (PiS). Last October this party won an absolute majority in a legislative election and formed a new government. © European Union, 2006 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Christian Lambiotte .

Poland, with a population of 40 million or 8% of the EU is not the land locked and Russia loving Hungary that Brussels may easily pretend doesn’t exist. The October electoral triumph of the Eurosceptic, if not anti-EU, Law and Justice party (PiS) under the extreme right wing politician Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a rampant populist, decisively darkens Europe’s political horizons. Brussels, Berlin and Paris will not be able from now on to act as if the EU is a solid union, especially now that Britain may quit the club in 2017. If you add to that the still probable Grexit or the Czech Republic’s and Slovakia’s straying direction, things have turned sour for the European Union.

The migration issue has undoubtedly tested the cohesiveness of the EU. It has strengthened the position of the populist, xenophobic and nationalistic political forces. However, the rhetoric of all those Eurosceptic groups found surprisingly fertile grounds in the electorates all around Europe. Such extreme political language couldn’t have been convincing in the 1990s, despite the fact that the central and east European countries having then just got rid of their communist oppressors, were impoverished and leaning towards political brinkmanship. Neither the presently outspreading Euroscepticism would have flourished in the first years of the new Millennium, with the economy growing steadily and the majority of working people confident about the future.

It’s not only immigration

During the past five to six years though, after the 2008-2010 financial crisis, unemployment started rising and on top of that a growing number of people in employment found it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. Eurostat, the EU statistical service revealed that the real percentage of unemployment was almost the double than the official rates. This newspaper on January 21, 2014 produced a revealing article about that.

It’s clear now for a large part of the voters that the future holds more unequal distribution of income to the detriment of the average man in the street. It is also true that the middle classes in many EU countries are watching their children grow old being unemployed or taking up ‘mini jobs’, that cannot support the standard of living the family used to have. Even those in full time employment feel insecure about their future. This is also clearly depicted in statistics, with the income inequality growing faster than ever.

An insecure future

The result is that for a growing part of the population the European ideals cannot placate them in their everyday problems. Even worse, many people tend to perceive the EU as the cause of the mounting concentration of wealth and political power in progressively fewer hands, thus undermining the position of not only the working but of the middle classes too. The giant multinationals become bigger every day using the merger and acquisition techniques and openly avoiding taxation, while the quality of the jobs they offer is in most cases deplorable. Day after day fewer and fewer jobs are of the good old kind, secure and well paid.

Regrettably, it’s not only in the ex communist countries of central and eastern Europe where Euroscepticism and anti-EU feelings are growing. France, Italy and all the other south EU member states are increasingly suffering from economic and political pessimism. Terrorism, immigration and the growing pressures on the civil freedoms – security and privacy from government measures meant to counter the modern asymmetrical threats – make things worse. These realities empower the political parties on both edges of the spectrum.

Drifting to the edges

The latest election in Portugal brought to power a governing alliance similar to the Greek SYRIZA of Alexis Tsipras. For similar reasons, the last election in Spain has left the country without a viable governing scheme. In this last case though, the tragic consequences of the confrontation between left and right in the civil war and the Franco dictatorship that followed it, have prevented the extreme right or left from getting stronger.

What is now happening in Poland is actually leading the country to an internal conflict between the extreme right of Kaczynski and the other political parties. His hideous acts of appointing the five new members of the Constitutional Court, and legislating the subjection of state media directly under his PiS party influence, were unthinkable to an EU country some years ago. Inconveniently, Kaczynski’s perversion cannot be stopped by Brussels or Berlin. Brussels seems pitiful having swallowed Kaczynski’s Constitutional Court coup in October, and now just looks on pathetically as journalists resign. As for Germany, the more Berlin acts against Kaczynski, the more his position is strengthened in the eyes of a large part of the Polish voters. Nobody in Poland has forgotten the German atrocities in WWII.

Blaming Brussels and Berlin

Again, some years ago nobody would have dared reprimand modern Germany so brutally and directly with shocking parallels and references to what the Nazis did in WW II. In many EU countries though, this behavior against Germany has lately reached disturbing limits. This is again a sign of the times we live in. It’s indicative of the reasons why many Europeans seem to want to take refuge in nationalism and xenophobia, fearing that a strengthened EU may bring them back to an autocratic Germanic Europe. Together with it comes the fear of undemocratic concentration of political power and wealth.

Unfortunately, what is happening today in Poland is not an accident. We live in the aftermath of a devastating economic crisis, an alarming concentration of wealth and a wave of terror unseen before. And it is rather impossible to reverse all that.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

A new world that demands new doctors in the fourth industrial revolution

MEPs list conditions for new EU-Azerbaijan deal

Migration has set EU’s political clock ticking; the stagnating economy cannot help it and Turkey doesn’t cooperate

“Beyond the beach: tackling plastic pollution upstream”, a Sting Exclusive by Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

Fighting cybercrime – what happens to the law when the law cannot be enforced?

International community makes important progress on the tax challenges of digitalisation

Copyright: European Union , 2017; Source: EC - Audiovisual Service; Photo: Frank Molter

EU hits deadlock on the future of glyphosate a month before deadline

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commissioner Mimica looks at how the private sector can better deliver for international development

Bayer’s cross at night (Copyright: Bayer AG)

The EU clears Bayer-Monsanto merger amid wide competition and environmental concerns

3+1 issues to haunt tomorrow’s EU Summit

UN lauds special chemistry of the periodic table, kicking off 150th anniversary celebrations

Trump to run America to the tune of his business affairs

Another 170 migrants disappear in shipwrecks, UN agency reiterates call for an end to Mediterranean tragedy

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

Idea of ‘homogenous’ Polish culture is a myth: UN human rights expert

Mali not fulfilling its ‘sovereign role’ in protecting its people: UN human rights expert

Syria: ‘Violence, displacement’ and cold kill 11 infants ‘in the past two days’

EU finally agrees on target for 40% greenhouse emission cuts ahead of Paris climate talks

‘Forgotten crisis’ in Cameroon, with attacks on the rise, millions in need of ‘lifesaving assistance’

Did young people just kill television?

At least 2.5 million migrants were smuggled in 2016, first UN global study shows

Korea must enhance detection and reinforce sanctions to boost foreign bribery enforcement

Iceland won’t talk with Brussels about EU accession

Security Council imposes arms embargo on South Sudan

UN chief ‘commends’ leadership of Greece and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as name dispute draws to final close

Asian and Pacific economies: decreases in tax revenue highlight need to broaden tax bases

The remote doctor, can it ever work?

Syria: Why did the US-Russia brokered ceasefire collapse? What does the duo care for?

EU to spend €6 billion on youth employment and training futile schemes

Guatemala: UN anti-corruption body will continue working, as Constitutional Court blocks Government expulsion

Can the US deal a blow to EU and Russia together over Ukraine?

How do we build an ethical framework for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Greenpeace’s saints and sinners in the tech world

Public opinion misled by the Commission on air transport safety

Unemployment and immigrants haunt the EU; who can offer relief?

MEPs commend Ukraine‘s reform efforts and denounce Russian aggression

UN launches plan to promote peace, inclusive growth in Africa’s Sahel

New report says better metrics could have prompted stronger response to the crisis

EU Parliament semi worried over democratic deficit

Summer 2018 Interim Economic Forecast: Resilient Growth amid increased uncertainty

FROM THE FIELD: Enduring freezing winter in a war zone

Why this is the year we must take action on mental health

Celebrating the Customs Union: the world’s largest trading bloc turns 50

EP leaders call for negotiations on upgraded Transparency Register to continue

Reflections on the the biggest refugee crisis since World War II

Can the EU afford to block China’s business openings to Europe by denying her the ‘market economy status’?

Parliamentary bid to democratize Myanmar constitution a ‘positive development’ says UN rights expert

UN chief encourages victims of terrorism to ‘raise up their voices’

‘Deteriorating’ human rights in Belarus amounts to ‘wholescale oppression’: UN expert

Businesses succeed internationally

As human genome editing moves from the lab to the clinic, the ethical debate is no longer hypothetical

A Valentine’s Special: heart has nothing to do with it, it’s all Brain

Force used against protestors in Gaza ‘wholly disproportionate’ says UN human rights chief

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about to hit the construction industry. Here’s how it can thrive

UN expert calls for international investigation into ‘evident murder’ of Jamal Khashoggi

Azerbaijan chooses Greek corridor for its natural gas flow to EU

Unlock the value proposition for Connected Insurance

South Korea: A cherished partner for the EU

More billions needed to help Eurozone recover; ECB sidesteps German objections about QE

Moving from a promise made in Sweden towards hope for peace in Yemen

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Laurence says:

    Surely, it’s a pity that “Brussels, Berlin and Paris are not able any more to act as if the EU is a solid union” as the Eurosceptic government, headed by Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s L&J Party, came to power in Poland. Nevertheless it does not afford ground for posting slime towards the very J. Kaczynski on the Internet!
    http://beforeitsnews.com/eu/2016/02/european-unity-is-being-undermined-by-a-retarded-politician-2599152.html

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s