What to expect from the reset of the Polish parliament – experts’ conclusions

The most important political event of the year on the European continent, as many analysts called the election of the new Polish parliament, took place. The ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) led by Jarosław Kaczyński, having won the majority of votes, still fell short of the number of ballots that would guarantee it a new term in power. Does this mean that the future government will pivot towards Brussels and take Ukrainian-Polish relations to a higher level? The briefing “Parliamentary elections in Poland: European dimension” was devoted to this topic.

According to Jakub Olhovskii, Candidate of Political Sciences, Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskij w Lublinie, Instytut Europy Środkowej, they are the most important parliamentary elections in Poland since 1989. He called the number of citizens who came to the polling stations an absolute record.

According to the expert, among the most important conclusions is the extraordinary mobilization of many social groups that were not actively involved in political processes before. First of all, it is the youth.

“The Poles have demonstrated that right now is the time for change. The ruling party was not able to convince the country’s population that it has a good vision of how to develop the state,” Jakub Olhovskii noted.

Foreign policy expert Stanislav Zhelikhovsky noted that the election results prove that this European country continues to be a model for the region. 

“Whatever problems the country faced and however strong the government might be during the last eight years, we see that in Poland, other political forces are given the opportunity to gain the levers of management of the state,” the speaker emphasized.

As for the first election winners, in his opinion, there were no surprises. Compared to the pre-election polls, the Civic Platform party rose slightly, while the Law and Justice did not get the expected number of votes. The Confederation of Liberty and Independence party received unexpectedly low support. Back in the summer, it was predicted to come third, but as a result it ranked 5th. How will the result of the election affect the relations between Warsaw and Brussels? According to Anatoliy Kurnosov, an expert at the Center for Political Studies “Doctrine”, Ukrainian-Polish Media Platform, this question remains open so far. The expert mentioned the dispute between Poland and the EU.

“Two years have passed since the start of the discussion in the European Parliament about the decision of the Polish Constitutional Court regarding the supremacy of Polish law over EU law. One of the messages from Warsaw was that it is not only about Polish law and judicial reform, but also about a certain European solidarity. In this regard, Morawiecki said: ‘Germany is completing the construction of Nord Stream-2, which directly threatens Poland and the Baltic countries, and why do we not talk about solidarity on this example?’” Anatoliy Kurnosov said. 

Yevhen Mahda, Candidate of Political Sciences, associate professor at Ihor Sikorsky National Technical University of Ukraine, expressed his opinion on what kind of the relations with Poland Ukraine can expect . He believes that Ukraine should abandon a reactive position and bet on a proactive one.  

“We have no other way out, because the Russian-Ukrainian war will further push us to more active actions on the international arena, and Poland is by all accounts a country with which we can establish a dialogue. Therefore, Ukraine should propose the concept of a new prometheism, based on the prometheism that existed a hundred years ago, and take into account the new geopolitical realities. This should be done by taking appropriate steps in the Baltic-Black Sea region, destabilizing russia and promoting cooperation between Poland and Ukraine in the current political context,” the expert emphasized.

Yevhen Mahda added that in the current situation, it is time for Ukraine to extend a hand of friendship to the Visegrad Four countries, and initiate at least political consultations with them: “We should not sit idly by waiting for  Bratislava and, perhaps, Warsaw to make statements that are not too pleasant for official Kyiv. It is not an indicator of the maturity of Ukrainian diplomacy.”