Could Poland’s Vote Signal Another EU Exit?

EU On Edge Over Polish Elections

Image of Donald Tusk. Credit: Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.co

This weekend, Poland faces a crucial election, and the outcome will be of keen interest to EU leaders. 

The stakes are high for Brussels, as Poland goes to vote on Sunday, October 15. The European Union is acutely aware of the significance of this vote, given the potential implications for the EU’s structure and unity, according to the Express.

Poland‘s primary political factions, the traditionalist nationalist right-leaning Law and Justice party (PiS), presently at the helm, and the progressive pro-European rightist Civic Platform (PO), both face challenges in establishing a government on their own.

Polarised Views In Poland

Young women, in particular, are concerned that Poland’s abortion regulations have become too restrictive. The dominant party, Law and Justice, has been notably unyielding in its stance towards Brussels. Yet, they maintain a slight lead and might find support from the even more conservative and Eurosceptic group, ‘Confederation.’ This potential alliance, more right-leaning than the present government, could spell trouble for Brussels.

The EU’s Eastern Challenges

The EU is still grappling with the recent re-election of Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Slovakia’s Robert Fico, both known for their nationalist and Eurosceptic views. The inclusion of Central and Eastern European countries in the EU is proving more challenging than anticipated.

In comparison, Britain’s exit seems less problematic. The EU, however, is not above making compromises. They recently proposed releasing funds, previously withheld due to a rule of law dispute, to Hungary. This was seemingly in exchange for Hungary’s support for a new EU budget and aid for Ukraine.

Donald Tusk hinted at a similar offer for Poland, leading critics to accuse him of being too closely aligned with the EU.

A Bitter Campaign

This election has been marked by intense rivalry and accusations from both sides, with the EU frequently at the centre of debates. The outcome will determine whether Poland strengthens its role as a leading figure among Central and Eastern EU nationalists or aligns more closely with Western European values.

Unlike the UK, which faced challenges during Brexit, Poland and Hungary are attempting to instigate change from within the EU, though with varying degrees of success.

For the EU, these nations represent a dilemma that needs resolution. This ‘Polish vote could be a pivotal moment for the EU, potentially leading to Poland following suit with the UK.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.

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