Saturday, February 20, 2016
The Problem with Poland Jan-Werner Müller
..In 2011, Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Poland’s right-wing Law and Justice Party (known as PiS), announced he wanted to create “Budapest in Warsaw.” Since his party’s resounding election victory in October, the conservative politician has kept his promise. Led by Kaczyński protégé Beata Szydło, the new Law and Justice government has done everything it can to emulate the authoritarian course of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán: already, it has attacked the constitutional court, undermined Poland’s independent civil service, and set out to bring the public media under government control. Unlike in the case of Hungary, the European Union has reacted quickly. Leading EU figures declared that fundamental democratic values were threatened by Warsaw. And on January 13, the European Commission was sufficiently concerned to open a “probe” into the workings of the rule of law in Poland, a step that is unprecedented in EU history..''