In 2015, Polish reporter Tomasz Grzywaczewski embarked on a journey to the ghost republics that span from Donbas to Abkhazia, to South Ossetia, and to mountainous Karabakh. What he saw in the shadows of ongoing conflicts is that there is still life and people who dream of peace.
Law and Justice seems to be going for neither the Anglo-Saxon, nor the Scandinavian solutions, nor any other type known from the Western market economies, but it instead, step by step, brings Poland back to the socialist system, enabling at the same time the emergence of a lobbying paradise.
What sets liberals apart from representatives of other ideological options is a strong trust in the capabilities of an individual and the key role of protecting the rights of an individual. Building a liberal community is currently of utmost importance, both in Poland and Europe in general.
It is not true that we face a drastic crisis of liberal movements – it is the alternative to these organizations that has changed radically as a result of a deep structural crisis of the left wing. To put it plainly and oversimplifying a little, the democratic struggle in the Western world takes place between the “liberal” and “non-liberal” camps.
Despite the likely win of the PiS, the Polish election is going to open large space of uncertainty. Minority government of the Law and Justice might be the outcome. However, such government would not be able to rule the country for long and the next early elections could be expected as early as in 2016.
Last winter, the polls of trust for Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski varied between strong 60 to 80%. Almost no one could have predicted that only four months later he will lose the elections to a young, 43 years old, unknown presidential candidate of the radically right Law and Justice party. Komorowski, supported by the Civic Platform, was defeated twice. And this means that we have entered a completely new age of Polish politics.
While creating the Energy Union, the EU should do its best to employ such mechanisms that would limit the regulatory power over the prices of sources and energy of individual states on the national level as much as possible. Such a solution applied to this specific market would – at least to some extent – secure a proper space for market principles and energy prices reflecting incomes of the citizens of a respective state.
For years, liberals have been struggling to lower and simplify Polish taxes. The results are, however, rather “moderate”, labour cost remains high, the dream of PIT flat tax – once a flagship project of the Civic Platform – is rarely even mentioned, and the recent governmental “temporarily” raised VAT rate to 23% seems to be becoming permanent. Every year, taxes and charges to the benefit of the state, not visible at first glance, are raised.
The destiny of Ukraine, which on its own has to face the military power of Russia, paints a gloomy picture. In this context, the Eastern Partnership has failed and instead of progressing Europeanisation we witness a war with unforeseen consequences.