Posts in "Poland" Category

Who’s who in the new Polish government?

Following the decisive victory of Law and Justice (PiS) in parliamentary elections last month, Poland’s new Prime Minister, Beata Szydło, has today (Friday 13 November 2015) been sworn in.

But who are the men and women who will form part of Szydło’s team?

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Law and Justice wins stunning victory in Polish elections

Exit polls from Poland’s parliamentary election show the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) winning a landslide victory with 38 per cent of the vote and obtaining an absolute majority in Parliament.

The ruling Civic Platform (PO) party came second, with 24 per cent, while the Kukiz movement won nine per cent of the vote.

The United Left alliance and Modern Poland both won 7.5 per cent of the vote, but the United Left’s score would mean they fall below the eight per cent threshold for an electoral alliance to win seats in parliament.

The results leave PiS potentially achieving the impossible in Poland: being able to govern without a coalition partner.

Download our briefing (PDF)

Words  CEC Government Relations, Warsaw
Image  CC/Flickr Nicolas Raymond – free image available at

Poland decides: five pointers to Sunday’s election

With a new Prime Minister last September and a new President elected in May, Poland is going through a period of political turbulence.

But Sunday’s parliamentary election could see the most significant change, with the opposition Law and Justice party leading in the opinion polls.

Here is our guide to what might happen in this crucial vote.

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Poland’s political earthquake: aftershock or more tremors to come?

The sudden decision of Poland’s Prime Minister, Ewa Kopacz (pictured), to dismiss leading ministers in the Polish cabinet on Wednesday evening is the second major shock to hit Polish politics in a month.

Kopacz’s Civic Platform (PO) party saw President Bronislaw Komorowski defeated by rival Law and Justice’s Andrzej Duda in the presidential election on 24 May. Now, the party has new troubles – and as the dust settles from the dismissals, the focus of discussion is not only the causes – but what might happen next.

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Duda springs a surprise to win Polish presidency

In what will be seen as one of Poland’s biggest electoral shocks of the past 20 years, Andrzej Duda (pictured) has defeated Bronisław Komorowski to become President-elect of Poland.

A Member of the European Parliament for the Law and Justice party, Duda won 51.5 per cent of the vote in a closely-fought campaign. The turnout, 55.3 per cent, was one of the highest ever in a Polish presidential election.

Duda’s victory is all the more impressive given that at the start of the campaign, he was completely unknown politician to most Poles – despite having been an MEP, a deputy justice minister and a minister in the chancellery of a former president, Lech Kaczyński. Yet from an electoral position that even a month ago seemed hopeless, he managed to beat Komorowski, the centre-right incumbent, in the first and second rounds of the election.

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Dear @Xavier_Bettel, it’s time to rotate the @EU_Presidency


In seven months Luxembourg will take over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. Preparations seem to be well underway, but so far your government has not set up a specific Twitter account for the presidency.

As you may know, the current Italian EU Presidency is quite active on Twitter. It has amassed more than 32,000 followers to its account, @IT2014EU. The Latvian government – which holds the presidency in the first half of 2015 – is already tweeting via two accounts – in English (@EU2015LV), and in Latvian (@ES2015LV). They have a combined total of  more than 3,800 followers.

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A trio of troubles in Tusk’s in-tray

??????????????????????????????????The final piece of Europe’s jigsaw is almost in place.

On Monday, Donald Tusk (pictured above) – elected by the national leaders at the end of August, becomes President of the European Council. But what faces the former Polish prime minister when he arrives in his new office on Monday?

Herman Van Rompuy – Tusk’s predecessor in the role – identified three key issues when the new President was unveiled in the summer. None of the these three issues has become simpler in the last three months.

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A five-point guide to the EU top jobs puzzle

This weekend, the European Council will meet again to decide on the holders of the EU’s top jobs.

Here’s our five-point guide to Saturday’s meeting and what it means – and have your say on one of the key issues of the summer by voting in our poll.

1. Time for action

hvr squareAfter the failure to agree on the top jobs at the last summit in July, European Union leaders are under pressure to reach an accord. The European Council is increasingly gaining a reputation as an institution that takes too long to decide anything, and whose decisions are often ‘fudges’.

Saturday is the crunch moment: if EU leaders fail to conclude a ‘package’ of appointments, it will put paid to any remote hopes of appointing the Commission on time. More importantly in the long term, it will increase popular and global perceptions of the EU as a sclerotic organisation. Herman Van Rompuy (pictured left), the President of the European Council, was criticised by EU leaders and many analysts for not preparing a watertight deal before July’s summit (although he was not helped by some prime ministers). The President will not want another failure.

The decisions are not easy: there are significant political, institutional and personal headaches for the 28 leaders. But the leaders are there to lead, and to decide. It’s time to act.

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Herman’s checklist: finding a balance for the EU’s top jobs

9157497455_724ede816a_h - UPDATEDA big week, and a careful balancing act

This time next week, Angela Merkel will be celebrating her sixtieth birthday – and short of anything better to cheer, the rest of the European Council will probably be celebrating the end of the gruelling quinquennial EU top jobs race.

Tuesday (15 July) sees the election of the new President of the European Commission. Jean-Claude Juncker does not quite have his feet under the desk yet, but the ‘grand coalition’ that held for Martin Schulz’s election as President of the European Parliament is expected to hold and see Juncker made President-elect.

And then, on Wednesday, the rest of the pieces of the top jobs jigsaw are expected to be put into place.

The European Council, denied a backroom deal over the Commission presidency, can (more or less) get back to old ways with its selection of a new President of the European Council and a new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (although the choice for the latter position is one for leaders to take with the President-elect). A new permanent president for the Eurogroup (finance ministers of eurozone countries) is also expected to be named.

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Building a new Commission – the runners and riders for the next College

[infopane color=”6″ icon=”0049.png”]Post updated later on Wednesday 11 June to account for news that Dacian Cioloș (Agriculture and Rural Development; Romania) may be re-nominated to the Commission.[/infopane]

With the choice of a President of the European Commission still up in the air, we are a long way off knowing the full team that will occupy the upper floors of the Berlaymont for the next five years.

Nevertheless, national governments are already putting forward their proposed nominees to sit in the new College. Here’s our look at the comings and goings in the Commission in 2014, and the potential candidates to take a seat in the new Commission.

If you have comments or suggestions, please include them in the comments box.

See our country-by-country guide to the potential nominees

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