Poland’s Claim To Be The New European “Centre Of Gravity” Gets A Reality Check

CEE can move from "the centre of gravity" to the "centre of disruption" unless voters stem the tide of nationalism.

28 April 2023

Adam Jasser

Deputy Managing Editor

The ruling nationalist party of Poland has tried to capitalise on the well-deserved gratitude Kyiv and the West had for the society’s laudable response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but like other right-wing populists, their own policies got in their way.

Poland’s surprise move to block Ukraine’s grain exports is just one example of the chaotic hypocrisy of its nationalist government. Even worse, the inflated expectations of how Warsaw can play the role of Ukraine’s EU champion or become a new “centre of gravity” in Europe are divorced from reality.

The decision, followed by other CEE states, disappointed Kyiv, drew a rebuke from the European Commission and dented Poland’s image to be a leading “moral power” in Europe since its sterling response to Russia’s assault on Ukraine over a year ago.

Editor’s Pick: Poland’s Ban on Ukrainian Grain Casts Doubt on Support for EU Accession


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Adam Jasser

Deputy Managing Editor

Since 2021, Adam has co-hosted a foreign policy podcast “About the World at Onet” for Poland’s leading web portal onet.pl. He has worked as a business and policy consultant, including with the World Bank on competition, privatisation and regulatory reforms in transition economies. In 2014-16, Adam was head of the Polish competition authority. He served as Secretary of State in the Chancellery of Prime Minister Donald Tusk in 2010-14. He was Secretary of the PM’s Economic Council and oversaw the analytical and policy impact assessment department. Before joining the government, Adam was Programme Director at Warsaw-based think-tank demosEuropa – Centre for European Strategy. Earlier, he spent almost 20 years at Reuters news agency, in roles stretching from translator and head of economic reporting in Warsaw, to bureau chief in Frankfurt and regional editor for central Europe, Balkans and Turkey.


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