Will Poland “sacrifice” Tusk’s EU Council presidency due to internal politics?

Tusk

by Łukasz Król and Doru Frantescu

Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party (ECR), recently announced that he might not support Tusk for a second term as the President of the European Council (Tusk’s term ends in June 2017). Is this just a tactical move or will he really go all the way and withdraw support for his political rival?

Law and Justice has long called for deep reforms within the EU, which include a stronger Council, weaker Commission, and more power to individual member states. Continue Reading

Top 10 most influential Polish MEPs (September 2016)

Note: this country-based report is part of the broader study that measured the influence of MEPs from all 28 EU Members States. To consult the methodology and cross-country comparisons read the full “Who holds the power in the European Parliament?” study.

A member of the Conservative Law and Justice, Ryszard Czarnecki, is the best classified in our assessment on the most influential Polish politicians in the EP. Continue Reading

Survey results: how does Brexit impact on EU initiatives and politicians?

There is a lot of uncertainty about how Brexit will impact on the current EU initiatives and its highest level politicians. Various officials are trying to spin the narrative so that they can leverage Brexit to back their agendas. But will this work? How will Brexit actually influence the commitments to the EU integration of the remaining Member States? How will it affect TTIP negotiations, the REFIT, digital single market, or the relations with Russia and China? Continue Reading

France more likely than Germany to lead the EU Council after Brexit, voting records in the Council show

with special thanks to professor Simon Hix and research assistant Davide Ferrari

After the outcome of the Brexit referendum, many observers wondered how the equilibrium of powers in the EU Council would change. We have looked at the voting dynamics over the last 7 years (over 22.000 votes of EU governments) to understand what is likely to happen after the UK leaves. Continue Reading

EU Parliamentarians back the opening of Rule of Law dialogue with Poland

Photo: European Parliament

EU parliamentarians overwhelming adopted a non-binding resolution calling on the Polish government to respect EU fundamental principles of democracy and rule of law.

The motion was approved by 513 MEPs, whereas 142 opposed and 30 abstained. The votes in favour came mainly from all the pro-EU groups, the Christian-Democrats (EPP), the Socialists (S&D), the Liberals (ALDE), the leftist group GUE/NGL and the Greens. Continue Reading

What allies can the Polish PiS government rely on in the European Parliament?

Poland PiS

Today, the Polish PM Beata Szydlo will debate with MEPs the developments in Poland since her party, Law and Justice, took power last year. The discussion promises to be tough as the Polish government confronts outspoken EU critics after it has passed a series of controversial measures, including Constitutional Court and media reforms. The adoption of an EP resolution was postponed until February, but parliament’s president, Martin Schulz, said he expects an “extremely lively discussion”. Continue Reading

EP debate on Poland could turn into ‘carnage’

VoteWatch Europe quoted in the EU Observer:

15 January 2016

 

The stage is set for “carnage” in the European Parliament on Tuesday (19 January), when the Polish PM, Beata Szydlo, confronts her government’s most outspoken EU critics.

The debate comes after the European Commisson, this week, launched an unprecedented inquiry into Polish costitutional and media reforms.

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The Polish new-old government’s priorities: build power base in Eastern Europe and enhance partnership with the US

by Monika Golaszewska

The head of Law and Justice Party (PiS), Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and the incoming Prime Minister, Beata Szydlo, unveiled on Monday their cabinet line-up. The new government will begin its tenure on November 12.

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What future for Poland? Special VoteWatch analysis

(click here for the version in Polish).

On 25th of October the Polish citizens will decide what future they want for their country. Their choice will undoubtedly impact the rest of Europe too: Poland is the 6th largest Member State (out of 28) and has one of the fastest growing economies on the continent. Moreover, apart from the UK, Poland is the largest non-eurozone member and holds a key geostrategic position at the EU’s border with the troubled Ukraine.

The positions that the Polish government will have in the following years on issues such as economic and political union, foreign and security policy, energy policy, environmental agenda, asylum policy and other key topics may shift the balance of power in the EU Council in one direction or the other. The upcoming Polish elections will determine which positions Poland will take on these important fields.

The infographic below shows the similarities and the differences between the views of the two leading competing parties, shaping two alternative scenarios for the future of Poland – the winner will impose its views as the “position of Warsaw” in Europe. Continue Reading

Profile: what does Poland’s Duda really stand for ?

There has been a lot of speculation lately about what the impact of the surprising election of Andrzej Duda as president of Poland could be for Europe and for his country. We did a fact-check to find out what his true views are on policy-making, by analysising his voting behavior as an MEP, a position he held since 2014.

What did we find: judging by his voting record, Mr. Duda has reservations with regard to Juncker’s Commission, is a strong supporter of Ukraine’s European aspirations, favours the inclusion of investor’s protection clause in international trade agreements and supports a bigger EU budget. He prefers security over privacy and shares Israel’s views on Middle East politics. He does not support ambitious targets for renewable energy or gender-based affirmation action and he opposes to promotion of contraception and abortion.  Continue Reading