Despite their record of dismantling the rule of law for the past four years, Poland’s soft Eurosceptic populist party, Law and Justice (PiS), were returned to power in the recent parliamentary elections with an increased share of votes. This raises huge questions about the state of Poland’s democracy, which will only partly be answered by the presidential elections to be held next spring.
External factors will also play a role, especially the American presidential race and internal political developments in Italy. Even more importantly for the EU as a whole, the state of rule of law in Poland – which after Brexit will be the fifth-largest EU member state – will constitute a litmus test of the EU’s ability to defend its fundamental values.
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