Twist in the Legal Universe

Finding a Real European Foundation for the Rule of Law in Poland

11 February 2020

The current deep crisis of the rule of law in Poland should not come as a surprise. It fits in with the general, populist narrative, which is familiar not just to Central Europe but also to its older, Western sister.

After more than 30 years since the first, almost free elections and joining the EU 15 years ago, the danger of “Polexit” is quite possible.

Waldemar Pawlak

The EU has been a source of support, covering the costs and distributing funds. As a former Polish Prime Minister and a Deputy Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak used to say: “we can squeeze the Brussels sprout”. He meant getting as much money for national investments as was possible.

The community was mainly seen as a generous sponsor, distributing funds and virtually undemanding. The foundation of the rule of law was quite often mistaken for a building foundation. Because Poland was a construction site. Bridges, stadiums, bike paths, libraries and concert halls. Signage indicating “the use of European funds” can be found on most new public facilities.

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Jarosław Gwizdak

Visegrad Insight Fellow. Former judge and Court President in Katowice. He currently works as a teacher, columnist and activist. He was the first person awarded the „Civic Judge of the Year” prize.

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