On November 28, 1918, Józef Piłsudski signed an electoral law allowing Polish women to vote. This was one of the fundamental changes of Polish law that has contributed to regaining the independnce after hundreds of years without it.
Mazowiecki proved that the strategy of dialogue is really the one that enables achieving big goals. The recent decision of the two main opposition parties in Poland – Nowoczesna and Civic Platform – to emabrk on a closer cooperation in the forthcoming 2018 municipal elections is a step in this direction.
The governing coalition of PSD and ALDE, elected in December 2016, seems indecisive in exercising executive power. The declining voter turnout, the street protests of February, and the curious change of prime minister in June raise legitimate questions about Romania’s flawed democracy.
When, back in April 2015, I had the honour and pleasure of setting up NowoczesnaPL with Ryszard Petru and 19 other eminent individuals, we didn’t expect that Law and Justice (PiS) would be able to ruin Poland to the extent that it has. For ruining the country is exactly what it is doing.
Including new member states to ensure further cohesion in wider Europe, while at the same time continuing to address inequality, racism, and nationalism are the pathways that should be followed for the EU to avoid less desirable scenarios.
There are liberal democratic parties such as moderately conservative Civic Platform (formerly led by Donald Tusk) or liberal Nowoczesna. They can base their voter’s value proposition on individualism yet their resources are far from Kaczynski’s party. There are other players, too.
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.
Numerous needed reforms and laws guaranteeing and protecting equal rights and freedoms have not been passed in Latvia due to lack of political will or poor public administration (or perhaps both). And in the era of the rise of populism, these advances seem more and more distant and unrealistic.
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.