Nov 15, 2023
On October 15, Poles were called to the polls—no pun intended. The ruling Law & Justice party—or PiS in its Polish acronym—came first with a plurality of ballots and parliamentary seats, but fell short of a majority. As a result, after eight years of rule, PM Mateusz Morawiecki's party will likely be replaced by a large and disparate coalition that ranges from the far-left to the right-of-center, helmed by former PM Donald Tusk of Civic Platform. Today we will cover the race's aftermath and its implications for Europe. Are Poland’s positions on Ukraine and NATO as immutable as they seem? Is the country about to mend fences with the EU, and unfreeze the approximately €100 billion in post-Covid recovery funds currently withheld by Brussels over concerns about so-called “democratic backsliding”? More importantly, will Tusk’s agenda be undermined by holdouts from the previous government across the civil service and state-controlled corporations? To unpack the meaning of Poland’s result, we are honored to have with us the consultant and veteran commentator of all things Polish Marek Matrazek back with us this week, along with Warsaw-based Belgian historian David Engels.
As always, please rate and review Uncommon Decency on whatever platform you use and send us your comments or questions either on Twitter at @UnDecencyPod or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please consider supporting the show through Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/undecencypod) to get access to the full episode where we talk more about the future of EU-Polish relations.
We also wanted to take a moment to apologise for launching this new season belatedly. All three of us have all been dealing with personal and professional challenges, and we wanted to take the time out to ensure we returned when truly ready. We will flesh out what we have in store very soon! Enjoy the episode!