Poland has decided. Andrzej Duda of the national conservative Law & Justice Party (PiS) received a slim majority of votes, and so will remain President of Poland. Nevertheless, his challenger from the liberal Civic Platform (PO), Rafał Trzaskowski, had a very respectable result, coming out of nowhere to post a serious threat to the incumbent president in a very short space of time. So, what does the election result mean for Europe?

The more successful Trzaskowski was in the polls, the uglier the election campaign became. The PiS campaign, in particular, targeted minorities, including the LGBT community, and relied on eurosceptic and anti-German messaging. Law & Justice like to position themselves as defenders of traditional national and religious values against modern “ideologies”. With the re-election of the PiS candidate, their political supremacy is secured at least until the next parliamentary elections in 2023.

The Polish president does not wield much actual power, but he can block laws through his veto ability. Since the Law & Justice party achieved its absolute majority in parliament, it has been dramatically transforming the Polish state and its relations with the EU. The European Commission has responded to what it sees as the erosion of civil liberties and checks and balances with complaints to the European Court of Justice and infringement proceedings.

The liberal challenger, Rafał Trzaskowski, had campaigned with a vision of “another Poland”. As the current Mayor of Warsaw and a former MEP, he promised better relations with the European Commission, and has taken part in LGBT parades. His biography is that of a multilingual cosmopolitan, and Trzaskowski would likely have represented a less confrontational approach towards Europe. It should not be forgotten, however, that the Poles who support PiS are still very enthusiastic about Europe. They know about the advantages of membership and see their country’s place historically as being at the heart of Europe.

Is President Duda’s election in Poland bad news for Europe? Will relations between Poland and the EU Commission deteriorate further? Or was the eurosceptic rhetoric just for the purpose of winning re-election (particularly given a majority of Poles support their country’s EU membership)? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS:: Bigstock © mazzzur

34 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    I don’t think it is bad news. EU must change a lot of things to ” unite the union”

    • avatar

      Trust me this president no matter how good EU become will still blame it for whatever is wrong with Poland. EU is favourite scapegoat for Law& Justice party. Didn’t you see what kind of people they sent to EU parliament ( when there was voting for covid19 funds and solidarity they were only people who voted against because they just want to oppose everything in EU project- or they are idiots who didn’t know what they were voting for)

  2. avatar

    Not for europe,but perhaps for the EU.

    • avatar

      Not for Europe but definitely for Poland.

  3. avatar

    Yes. Radicalism is always bad news for everyone.

    • avatar

      nope, is as bad as right wing radicalism. In current times of greatest challenges (COVID, climate change, inequality, etc) we should try to be more united than ever and reach broad political consensus.

  4. avatar

    Thank you for asking in a way that isn’t leading. :) I don’t like them personally, but they are right about a lot of things that their Euro-credulous opponents are wrong about, so it’s not at all surprising people voted for them. Whether they are bad for the EU depends on whether the EU keeps unnecessarily picking fights on those issues (which I suspect it probably will.) Namely: defending corrupt judges (the EU would have a hard time backing down on this considering the absurd lengths they’ve already gone to), graphic and unnecessarily ‘advanced’ sex education for kids, abortion, etc. On the other hand, the Catholic church is in even worse shape than the EU, so it will be an interesting few years.

  5. avatar

    Everytime is good for the Countries is bad for the EU.
    The EU is the cancer of europe.

    • avatar

      Duda isn’t good for country. He is just pen in hand of Kaczyński. He is person who is breaking Polish constitution. He is person who said that lgbt is worse than communism. He is a person who gave grace to pedophile so he can be free from a prison. He is a person who gave the highest order which can be given to civilians to few village women who have more than 8 kids and are Law and justice supporters. He said once that he isn’t president of all Poles. He won with narrow margin and he isn’t my president. I hope that in 5 years will come someone who will try to fix everything what was already damaged by ruling party and him.

  6. avatar

    No. President Duda was democratically elected by the Polish people. The Law and Justice Party in Poland may be eurosceptic but they did good things for Poland. They built a strong economy, a strong welfare system, a strong NATO army, a Visa-free travel to the United States of America and the country is already in the list of the developed nations.

    • avatar

      … with european money….

    • avatar

      How they built strong economy? In my view they are just praise themselves for success made by their predecessors ( from SLD with Belka and their arch-enemy PO). They are splashing money on themselves and projects which will give them support in next elections. But ofcourse I can be in darkness with something excellent that they did so please tell me exactly what they did to make polish economy stronger.

    • avatar

      don’t be bothered, all the member countries are paying, they knew how to attract funds, not like the filthy ones from us. Btw, don’t dream that most of those from usr come out, if you are wearing pink panties.

  7. avatar

    It is certainly good news for democracy!

  8. avatar

    Bad for Europa but a desaster for Poland. Sad for my polish friends. They deserve better than this …

  9. avatar

    This election is the Polish peoples way of telling the EU apparatchiks to stay out of their national business,and just keep sending the free money.

  10. avatar

    He is the worst polish president. Just a puppet in hands of Jarosław Kaczyński.

  11. avatar

    It’s bad for the Germans. It’s great for Europe, especially Central and Eastern Europe.
    Go Poland!

    • avatar

      As an Eastern European, I respectfully disagree.

    • avatar

      I support and respect your opinion fully
      However, haven’t you had enough of being a cheap labour source for the Western Europe?
      Don’t you think enough young, educated people have already left? The so called brain drain is damaging all our economies.
      Go Poland! Go Romania!

  12. avatar

    ..bad news for Poland first, and for Democracy and for Europe…

  13. avatar

    never read article, which headline ends with question mark; never answer loaded question. I have spoken. live long and prosper

  14. avatar

    Bad news, for being in europe they need to respect the human rights and the rule of law, if they can’t do it then they should leave and we´ll take their refugees.

  15. avatar

    I get the feeling much of Poland is just terrified of the future.

  16. avatar

    If we have to pose that question… The answer is right there.

  17. avatar

    I think it’s disrespectful to put the question in these terms. Anyway, this very disputed election shows democracy is back to Poland.

    • avatar

      democracy might “be back”. But not the democratic values…

    • avatar

      perhaps there is still hope, now that the Polish president learned that his power is less absolute.

    • avatar


  18. avatar
    Catherine Benning

    Is President Duda’s election in Poland bad news for Europe?

    It can only be good news as the President was elected by Polands majority. How could this be considered bad news? Europe is supposedly a democracy. Poland called an election. The turn out was good and he was legally put in as leader of their country.

    Europe should be delighted by this result. It proves it is a functioning democratic entity. Today, when you peruse other European country elections it is a miracle outcome after facing such enormous pressure to relinquish their beliefs. The Polish people want to remain a European ‘Polish traditionally led’ society with an understanding that their culture and practices remain in the hands of those who mean them no harm, or, who do not want to eradicate their history and their future plans as a civilised population.

    All other European countries should take note of their bravery and applaud them!

  19. avatar

    The election of a pro-Trump president who had initiated to build a military base and name it after the American president, Fort Trump, and to the militarize of Poland rather than using limited wealth of nation on his own people, it is of course a bad news for Europe and suicidal for Poland. Poland appears to be actively going back to a deadly route of the two great wars. It is very like to become the epicenter of a third world war. European leaders and people ought to rethink over whether Poland is suitable to be a member of EU, a union formed to avoid the recurrence of the third devastating world war but a member has been actively remilitarizing itself and demonstrating an aggressive and hostile foreign policy completely different from the union. Duda serves nothing more than endangering Europe with his own admiration of the American president Donald Trump rather than .

  20. avatar

    Poland tops the list of net beneficiaries in the European Union, with a deficit of -€11,632 million. That is a lot of money, money that taxpayers in other European countries are contributing. It is charity, given willingly so that they economy might grow and create opportunities for people to have more prosperous lives. Why will not Poland pay this charity forward? Welcome the refugees, aiding minorities, accepting the lgbt community?

    If Poland will not be charitable to those in need, why should the rest of Europe keep up its charity towards Poland?

  21. avatar

    EU membership has been manipulated by the US immediately after the end of the Cold War. EU has been using as the political tool to take over ex-Soviet Union areas of influence, which is highly dangerous as we have seen now. Over-expansion and unconditional inclusion of many late developed countries is risking the collective security of the EU. these newly democratized countries do not even have their national recognition, how can they have allegiance of the EU? Even worse, as democracy is newly acquired by previous authoritarian or even dictatorship political system, healthy democratic party has no time to develop, not to say a orderly democratic party system to keep the democratic political process, parties of these countries tend to invite foreign political forces to backup itself during domestic political competition. As a consequence, these new emerged democracies would be developing undemocratic system, qusai-democracy and other abnormal types of political system which is doing more harm on the country than ever before. It can threaten the splitting up of the country. If EU does not take action to suspend membership of these countries, EU would be drawn into civil wars as in Ukraine and even worse, might drawn into great power military conflict clearly centering at Poland as we have all witnessed. So, EU ought to build up its own army for collective security and withdraw its membership from NATO because NATO has been the chariot of war which enabling the US to create war and military conflict across the Atlantic Ocean. The Cold War bifurcated world is a highly dangerous international system in which arms race and nuclear threat had been used to maintain a dangerous “balance of terror”. NATO had completed its historical functional role, it is time for an independent and united Europe working towards the unique goal of peace and security in the global era with the formation of its own security force serving European interests rather than being a tool to sustain the greatness of any great power. European army for Europe.

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