Hundreds of Thousands Rally to Defend Polish Democracy

Democratic Security Outlook 5-11 June 2023

5 June 2023

Up to 500,000 people rallied in Warsaw and other cities across Poland to protest the ruling nationalist PiS party’s growing authoritarianism. The biggest demonstration since the collapse of communism over 30 years ago boosted the democratic opposition, led by former European Council president Donald Tusk, ahead of the October elections.

Upcoming on Visegrad Insight:

  • Merili Arjakas analyses the motivations behind the Baltic trend for more progressive LGBTIQ+ policy while much of the region is reversing
  • Marco Nemeth and Albin Sybera will break down the ongoing political developments in Slovakia.

EU/REGIONAL

  • The European Court of Justice will decide on Monday in a long-standing European Commission case against Poland over its laws subjugating the judiciary to political pressure. Poland has refused to observe a temporary court order to halt some aspects of the regulations until the ruling, which has led to penalties of between 1 million and 500,000 euros per day for a total of half a billion euros so far.
  • Western and Central European leaders plotted the course ahead for expanding European security architecture to Ukraine, Moldova and Western Balkans during major gatherings in Bratislava and Chișinău last week. At the GLOBSEC conference in Bratislava, President Emmanuel Macron seemed to offer the strongest pledge yet that France will support EU and NATO expansion. At the European Political Community meeting in Moldova, no specific steps were agreed upon, but both meetings showed the growing resolve of Western leaders to expand the eastern frontiers of the EU. (Read more here.)
  • Reinforcing the sense that Western Europe is hardening its stance on the war, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made a fiery speech refuting accusations that German help for Ukraine amounted to “warmongering”.
  • Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan revamped his cabinet following his election victory, signalling a turn towards a more orthodox economic policy to stabilise inflation and the lira, which tumbled in the past week.
  • NATO beefed up its security contingent in Kosovo after several members of its force there were injured in clashes with ethnic Serbs, outraged by Pristina’s move to impose its control of majority Serb areas. NATO and Western leaders laid the blame on Kosovar authorities for stoking tensions.
  • The EU decided to access the Istanbul Convention against violence towards women.
  • Eurozone inflation fell to 6.1 per cent, the lowest level since the start of the war, while Inflation in CEE countries also eased, although it remains in double digits.

Ukraine’s counter-offensive imminent

UKRAINE

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