Poland’s general election on Sunday may propel a new nationalist-minded government into European politics, deepening divisions over the migration crisis and straining relations with Berlin, Brussels and Moscow. The Eurosceptic Law and Justice party (PiS), led by former prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has toned down its anti-EU rhetoric since its first time in power in 2005-07, but diplomats in Brussels are worried that EU decision-making may soon be obstructed by a returning member of the awkward squad. The staunchly conservative Kaczynski has nominated a less combative politician, Beata Szydlo, to be prime minister to lure disgruntled voters of the outgoing pro-European government. But his deep distrust of big European powers, particularly Germany, remains intact and analysts say he is still expected to pull the strings.
“It may not be to the liking of everyone when you pursue your interests,” said Witold Waszczykowski, a leading PiS foreign policy expert and deputy foreign minister in the previous PiS government. “But the EU is not an altruists’ club.”
With a more assertive Poland, the 28-member bloc will have a harder time dealing with Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War Two, negotiating a global deal on climate change and forging a united stance towards a resurgent Russia in the east.
Full Article: Election puts Poland’s ties with EU, Germany at risk.