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The battle for the rule of law in Poland will have consequences across Europe (Prospect)

The ECJ’s actions echo those of another powerful European institution forced to take action to fill the void left by political leaders—the dramatic intervention in the euro crisis by the European Central Bank (ECB) in 2012, when it too reinterpreted its mandate in developing radical new monetary policy.

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How Law and Justice captured Poland’s courts (Freedom House)

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) is often described as a “conservative” party committed to upholding “traditional values.” Such labels miss the point: Law and Justice is first and foremost a political movement devoted to overturning Poland’s existing constitutional…

Poland’s new nationalism: in conversation with Aleks Szczerbiak

When Poland joined the European Union in 2004, it was widely assumed that young Poles afforded the opportunity to work and study abroad would go forth and liberalise. But for many, the European Dream has long since turned sour. This…

Britain: An Unhappy Country Seeking Catharsis (Gazeta Wyborcza)

This is the original, English-language version of an article published in Polish this weekend in Gazeta Wyborcza.  The Polish translation can be found here. As outsiders and Britons alike try to understand the result of Britain’s EU referendum, it is tempting simply to…

Is there a European political culture?

This morning I participated in a panel discussion at the Wroclaw Global Forum, a security conference hosted by the Atlantic Council in the Polish city that in a former life was the German city of Breslau. The conference is held…

Tusk, Kaczyński, and Putin: A View From Moscow

Last month, I interviewed Maxim Samorukov, Deputy Editor of Carnegie.ru and an analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Moscow Centre. We discussed relations between Poland and Russia between 2007 and 2010, when Poland’s executive branch was divided between Law and Justice…

The Ghosts of Smolensk (Foreign Policy)

On April 10, Poles will mark the sixth anniversary of that catastrophe in Smolensk, when President Lech Kaczyński; his wife, Maria; the chief of the general staff; the heads of all three armed forces; the director of the intelligence service;…

The conspiracy theorists who have taken over Poland (The Guardian)

In late January 1993, three years after the abolition of the Soviet-imposed Polish People’s Republic, a crowd of 5,000 demonstrators marched on the Warsaw residence of Lech Wałęsa. As the chairman of Solidarity, the independent trade union and mass opposition movement…

Independence Day: Poland’s Internal Partitions

Kraków’s Main Square was crowded as I entered from the northwest at about eight o’clock in the evening.  It is 11th November – Independence Day.  On this day in 1918, Józef Piłsudski proclaimed an independent Polish state after over a century…

Reporting on ‘hybrid war’ in Ukraine

Kiev – In August 2014, six months after the departure of former President Viktor Yanukovych and the initiation of Russian military operations in Crimea, shrines to the fallen and barricades that had long taken on a commemorative quality vied for space…