On the whole, CEE countries – including Poland – still positively stand out in this respect among its European peers. Yet, this might soon come to an end as Poland’s governing party (LAw and Justice) is planning to introduce significant restrictions on Sunday trade.
In some countries (including Poland) parental leave can be fully flexibly divided between both parents. This sounds great, but in reality reinforces gender inequality. Therefore, the Commission has recently proposed the parental leave to become an individual right for mothers and fathers without a transfer of the four months to the other parent.
The EU is currently going through a multidimensional crisis and loses its defenders: both in the societies and among politicians. This trend is reversible, but we need to offer fresh solutions and make Europe a great dream again. In Warsaw, at the crossroads of East and West, we are perfectly positioned to do it.
It is not only mutual military support and the common market that unites EU and NATO Members States. Our cooperation is and has to be based on common values – democracy and the rule of law. Barack Obama very clearly made Polish politicians aware of this fact during the press conference at the NATO summit.
Last Thursday marked another important landmark of the constitutional crisis in Poland. Law and Justice – the Poland’s ruling party – appointed in a parliamentary voting another member of the Constitutional Court. The light in the tunnel is gone. Law and Justice provided the ultimate evidence of its unwillingness to solve the crisis in a democratic way.
The purely staff-related nature of the reforms and the statements by Law and Justice’s politicians leave no doubts that the media fight has one objective: undermining the public media’s ability to scrutinise the actions of the government. The attempt to turn the Polish media into a propaganda tool of the government has already been noticed abroad.
The sequence of events in Poland might sound familiar to many of you. Hungary experienced quite a similar scenario. Clearly, Poland is not an isolated case. Political radicalisation and anti-democratic backtracking might be contagious.