Today, the European Commission will publish its annual Rule of Law Report. The new report could now intensify the conflict between the EU and the two Central European member states. Given the continued undermining of democratic principles in Poland and Hungary, one would expect not only a retrospective analysis, but also concrete recommendations for action against violations of the rule of law. However, this does not seem to be the case.
Liberalism is based upon the premise that individuals are to be trusted, that they know best what is in their interests, that laws, regulations and rules are superseded by the freedom of an individual, and the legislator intervenes only when absolutely necessary. Why then do we still not return to this notion after more than a year after the COVID restrictions started in earnest?
President Vladimir Putin is proposing to renew cooperation with Europe, which is to be welcomed because Russia is an important country. I believe, however, that in taking this step we should remember the history. We understand the pain of the former members of the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, President Putin should equally understand the pain of those nations that suffered great injustices from the Soviet Union.
The report of the Lex Super Omnia Prosecutors’ Association entitled “The Stick Method”, is a comprehensive analysis of the situation that the prosecutor’s office has been struggling since 2016. Lex Super Omnia is an association of independent Polish prosecutors supporting democracy, quality of prosecution services and the rule of law.
When no one was waiting, Tusk decided to return. What challenges will Tusk encounter? Poland has changed a lot during his absence. Much more than one might think judging by press reports or occasional meetings with supporters. Tusk’s former comrades refuse to acknowledge this. If Tusk becomes a hostage of their phobias and expectations, he will be doomed to failure.
The “Polish Order”, presented by the ruling Law and Justice party, is a marketing shell without comprehensive reforms and adequate and effective actions. It is not a plan for increasing prosperity. It is a plan for spending money and buying votes in those areas where the authorities have their electorate and can still gain some points.
After a promising start the Hungarian political system could not turn into a liberal democracy. It is not a special occurrence, in some other “third wave countries” democratization slowed down or stopped as well. The democracy crisis has many reasons: fragmented political culture, economic problems, problematic challenges to fundamental rights.
In order to defeat the Law and Justice party, it is essential to take the microphone away from the “scary grandpas”. Poland is still ruled by metrical and mental old-timers, who built their position in the early day of the Third Polish Republic. They are described as the creators and symbols of the Third Republic – the Deserving Ones.
July 1, 2021 is a special day for the former member states of the Warsaw Pact – the day marks the 30th anniversary of the disintegration of the military alliance. At Vaclav Havel’s invitation, Czechoslovak President, the official document heralding the end of the Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact was signed in the Černín Palace in Prague on July 1, 1991. This closed a historic chapter for the eight member states of the Eastern alliance.
During his first trip to Europe, Joe Biden kept repeating that ‘America is back’. We have to wait for the long-term effects of this visit, though. Only after some time we will see whether specific political decisions will follow handshakes and declarations. Nevertheless, we can already see that America under its new leadership is more pragmatic, predictable, and surrounded by allies, and therefore stronger.