Poland

  • The Development of the Polish Party System: a Perspective of the Parliamentary Elections Results

    The author analyses the dynamics of the Polish party system in the light of the outcomes of the parliamentary elections in the Third Republic of Poland (since 1989). He exposes especially the last element of that evolution – the 2015 parliamentary election. It resulted in the victory of Law and Justice (PiS) party. For the first time in the history of democratic Poland, the victor was able to create a government without having to negotiate with coalition partners. The success of PiS seems to be a result of the combination of several factors. It would be mistaken to portray an emerging situation as a simple rightist win. PiS to some extent represents a social attitude, typical for the socialist (social-democratic) parties, with some part of the program including a populist message, but with the combination of a conservative approach to several issues and nationalistic stand on a perception of patriotic mood. The important meaning has a support of PiS by the Catholic Church, especially at the grass-roots level. The victory of PiS and forming of the majority government have an important meaning for the functioning of the political parties’ system in Poland. For the first time since 1989, there were not balancing of power situation which the coalition governments have brought about. The political parties, creating the opposition in parliament, must offer a new strategy of behaviour in such circumstances, especially dealing with challenging the PiS policy to compromise a democratic system based on the 1997 Constitution, e.g. division of power, position of the Constitutional Tribunal and functioning of the judiciary

  • The Relocation of the Iron Curtain to the Middle East: the Polish and Slovak Position Towards the EU Migration and Asylum Policy

    The current EU migration and asylum policy crisis has been perceived to constitute one of the most serious challenges for European security. The attitude of fear and reluctance towards admission of cultural others (including: refugees, asylum seekers and the immigrants) has been particularly visible in the V4 countries. The aim of this paper is therefore to examine the grounds of such a position with reference to general European tendencies as well as specific features of attitudes of Poland and Slovakia as the representatives of V4 countries in the light of their particular economic and social situation. Due to volume limitations the author will focus mainly on the two presented States. The decision regarding choice of Poland arises from the fact that as the only V4 State it has voted in favour of the mandatory quota of relocation of 120.000 refugees. Instead Slovakia constitutes the most vivid example pro-European parties changing rhetoric for more national which is quite transparent for the V4 countries. The whole analysis has been conducted in the specific context of relocation of the symbolic division of Europe an replacement of ideological Iron Curtain with cultural Velvet Curtain which leads to the phenomenon of culturalisation. 

  • Between Russia and the West: Belarus as a Challenge for European Stability and Security

    This paper aims to explain that the stable situation of Belarus is important for Western Europe and why any fluctuations may present a challenge for European integrity and stability. Belarus, since the beginning of its independence in 1991 seems to show a great willingness to cooperate closely with Russia, claiming Western Europe and NATO as a potential enemy. In reality, the Belarusian position is much more complicated and ambiguous. Despite it’s close military cooperation with Russia, different tensions between Minsk and Moscow regularly happen and Belarusian authorities are still looking for new foreign partners and new energy suppliers (what was clearly visible in the last months of 2016 and the first period of 2017). Russia, old Belarusian partner, may actually even pose a threat for Belarus, so the country’s authorities have a hard challenge to maintain its stability. Western countries may be open for a new chapter of cooperation with Minsk but any rapid changes in Belarusian foreign preferences may result in unpredictable results and Moscow reaction that – in turn – would be very challenging for the whole European stability and security. 

  • Cultural War and Reinventing the Past in Poland and Hungary: The Politics of Historical Memory in East–Central Europe

    This paper has been based on three assumptions that have been widely discussed in the international political science: (1) there has been a decline of democracy in East–Central Europe (ECE) with the emergence of “velvet dictatorships”, (2) the velvet dictatorships rely on the soft power of media and communication rather on the hard power of state violence that has provoked “cultural wars“ and (3) the basic turning point is the transition from the former modernization narrative to the traditional narrative with “reinventing the past” and “reconceptualising modernity” through the reference to the historically given collective national identity by launching the “politics of historical memory”. The velvet dictatorships have been using and abusing the national history as an ideological drug to consolidate their power. The (social and national) populism and Euroscepticism are the basic twin terms to describe the soft power of the new (semi)authoritarian regimes. They are convertible, the two sides of the same coin, since they express the same divergence from the EU mainstream from inside and outside. Soft power means that the political contest in the new regimes has been transferred from the hard to the soft fields of politics as the fight between the confronting narratives. The victory of the traditionalist–nativist narrative carries also the message that the people are only passive “subjects” and not active citizens, so the field of politics has been extremely narrowed in the “new brave world” in ECE. 

  • The Role of NGOs in the Development of Societies and Overcoming the Consequences of Crises: Case Studies of Poland and Russia

    The aim of the article is to present the results of the research conducted by author in Poland and Russia last years, as well as to analyse the ways for improvement the situation in civil society in these countries. The author postulates the need of new understanding of the role of non–governmental organizations in times of crises, which happened in Europe and in the world in recent years (the world financial crisis, migration crisis, political crises in Poland and Russia, the crisis of European integration, etc.). Presented in this article research demonstrates, that mass–media, governments and ordinary people in Poland and Russia see the role of non–governmental organisations primarily in the social problems solving. Moreover, different other studies analysed in the article demonstrate the weakness of non–governmental sector and civil society in these countries. Author concludes that non–governmental organizations have to work in coalitions, because this way they can receive support from other institutions in the network and promote their activities on a larger scale. Networking, federations and coalitions of non–governmental organizations are the significant force in society. It is very important especially in a context of social development of Poland and Russia and overcoming the consequences of crises. 

  • Political Parties and Trade Unions in the Post–Communist Poland: Class Politics that Have Never a Chance to Happen

    Trade unions in Poland have not built the stable and long–term relations with political parties as are observed in Western democracies. By analysing the historical and symbolic background of the transformation to a democratic civil society and free market economy, political preferences of working class, trade union membership rates, and public opinion polls, we argue that, in case of Poland, the initial links between political parties and trade unions weakened over time. Polish trade unions never had a chance to become a long–term intermediary between society and political parties, making the Polish case study a double exception from the traditional models. 

  • Turkey–Poland 600 Years of Friendship

    There are still a  lot of things to be told about the history of Polish – Turkish relations. The preparations for the 600th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Poland and Turkey were the opportunity to fill blank spaces in this sphere. The book lays the ground and paves the way for further more detailed and illuminating research. The book is a  compilation of articles written by scholars, politicians and other experts from Poland and Turkey. The three editors, who are very knowledgeable in this topic, have jointly prepared a comparative analysis of Turkey and the EU. There are eight separate articles in the book. They put emphasis on the European Union and Turkey with regard to issues of the Middle East.

  • The Destruction and Transfer of Orthodox Church Property in Poland, 1919–1939

    The most difficult period that the Polish Autocephalous Church of the 2ⁿd Polish Republic experienced was in 1938 when, by the decision of administrative authorities, over 127 sacral buildings in Khelm region and Podlachia were pulled down. The third transfer stage took place from 1937 to 1939 and, for the most part, took the form of demolishing Orthodox churches. (It should be noted that the demolition of Orthodox churches happened throughout the whole period of the existence of the Second Polish Republic.) The churches which were destroyed were those which were the symbols of the Russian Tsar’s reign. Over thirty Orthodox churches were destroyed, including the cathedral in Saski Square in Warsaw, the Sts. Cyril and Methodius cathedral in Khelm and the Resurrection cathedral in Bialystok. The demolition of these Orthodox churches – regarded as symbols of Russian rule – was spontaneous and often irrational. Nevertheless, it never happened on a massive scale. Only in 1938 did a programme of destroying Orthodox churches emerge as a distinct element of the Polonisation effort. This programme was initiated by the government itself. The official reason was that those churches were not needed, dilapidated, or had been built as a result of Russifi cation in the past. However, it appears that the reason was to weaken the Belarusian and Ukrainian national minority movement through closing parishes and active Orthodox churches. The “pacifi cation: of parishes in 1937 started in the Lublin region. First, a kind of social movement for the “propagation of Polish values and traditions” was created by the polish local authority. Then the army and police persecuted the Orthodox Church and people in order to convert them to Roman Catholicism. The demolition of Orthodox churches was conducted from the second half of May until the first half of July 1938. The actions were taken up by the local administration and co-ordination committees with help from the army and police in a hostile, anti-Orthodox atmosphere. To this end, the government used youth, army sappers, worker brigades, and even prisoners. Administrative and material measures were used to pressure the Orthodox who were blackmailed and threatened while their churches, which often served thousands of faithful, were destroyed. In most cases, the Orthodox community made no attempt to actively resist the demolitions. They prayed and protested, but were unable to oppose such an officially organised action.

  • Seminar Legislative experiences of Poland and Kazakhstan in the scope of the territorial self-government and national minority policy, Warsaw, Senate of the Republic of Poland, 9 July 2014

    The seminary was a joint undertaking of the two committees of the Senate of the Republic of Poland and the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Warsaw. It was held by the Senate Legislation Committee, Senate Territorial Self-Government and State Administration Committee and a team of the Embassy of Kazakhstan led by Ambassador Dr Yerik Utembaev. The seminary’s guests were Members of the Mazylis, Kazakhstan’s lower chamber of parliament chaired by Mazylis Deputy Chair – Mr Sergey A. Dyachenko. Besides, the seminary was participated by deputies, senators as well as representatives of business, academic and political communities, interested in and taking action for the development of the relations between Poland and post-Soviet states of Central Asia, including President of Adam Marszałek Publishing House, Dr Adam Marszałek, Doctor of Honoris Causa, Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University in in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The organization of the seminary had several aims. The main aim of the event was the exchange of experiences between Poland and Kazakhstan in the scope of legislation concerning the activity of both countries’ territorial self-governments as well as in the scope of safeguarding freedoms and rights of national minorities. Of no less importance was enabling the Polish participants to learn the specific characteristics of the functioning of Kazak administration, which comes to pursue its tasks within a very extensive area inhabited by approximately 140 nations.

  • Polsko-rosyjska współpraca w sektorze energetycznym: stan obecny, perspektywy

    Energy security is a key component of national security. It’s really hard to formulate correct construction of the strategic culture, political strategy, without considering this crucial component. Thus, especially important factors that shape Polish security policy should be mentioned: diversification of energy links and resources, adaptation of country`s technical infrastructure to modern petrol market requirements, bilateral and multilateral agreements covering energy security problems. The Russian factor plays an important role in the Polish energy security policy. Bilateral relations within energy sector have repercussions on Polish energy security and the foreign policy. It also has an impact on the Poland`s internal politics, thus should be considered as crucial for Polish national interest.

     

  • Polska–Rosja: wybrane gospodarcze aspekty współpracy transgranicznej Abstract

    The publication presents the point of view on economic relations with one Russian region bordering Poland–Kaliningrad Oblast. This is the point of view of the author, who has been dealing with the practical coordination of the co-operation for many years, and who has been currently dealing with this part of the international relations from the scientific.

    The difficult situation in the Polish-Russian border regions is described by the presented data related to trade in the recent years. Other aspects of cross-border cooperation which affect the economic development of border regions are also presented. From the point of view of border regions, the current situation is not favourable. For many years there have been attempts to create conditions for the economically weaker border regions, being also the peripheries of the Eastern border of the European Union, to develop better. This aim was to be achieved by, among others, local border traffic, as well as the Interreg programs: Poland–Lithuania– Russia and the currently developed Poland–Russia. In the present political situation, the voice of the regions bordering with the Russian federation is not particularly taken into consideration. But, in the long term, considering the socioeconomic development of border regions and common problems resulting from them being neighbours across the border, it should be noticed.

  • Razlichija mezhdu ontologicheskimi osnovami polskojj i russkojj kultur Chelovek. Svoboda. Istorija. Gosudarstvo

    Societies create cultural models in order to maintain their identity. They constitute a reflection of values and symbols to which they are the most attached. In Russia, there has been a dispute about cultural identity for a long time. During Vladimir Putin’s presidency, when the liberal idea was devalued, a serious debate about the future of Russia was commenced. In contrast to Russia, Poland has always emphasized its European roots and identity of its culture with the Western culture. Comparative studies of the two cultures lead to the conclusion that significant differences are views of: man, freedom and the state. The definition of man in a given culture is associated with the worldview. In Russian culture it has been formulated on the basis of monastic practice and experience of Church Fathers. Hesychasm and deification – are the basis of the Orthodox anthropology. In the contemporary Russian culture one can observe the revival of hesychasm, which stems from the life practice. Latin anthropology was formed under the influence of Saint Augustine’s Confessions. According to Augustine, man is dust and only his „self ”, the person, is endowed with „existence, consciousness and will”. Augustine was the first Latin theologian, who pointed out the historical subjectivity of an individual. Therefore, the European thought identified man with historical ones: the state, nation and economics. The issue of a person’s freedom is the basic issue of Western anthropology. Man perceived himself as an autonomous entity that exists thanks to the autonomous intellect and respects the rights of others adhering to the same principles. Freedom in Orthodox culture is understood as inner freedom from external determinants Saint Augustine formulated a number of problems which are the basis of the Western understanding of the state. The specificity of understanding Augustine’s state is associated with the belief that people are sinful and it has an impact on the state system. Russian state doctrine is connected with Byzantine heritage. The idea of Moscow the Third Rome is a continuation of Byzantine diarchy. The contemporary Russian state thought says that liberal democracy and internationalism are unfamiliar to Russian culture. It finds it necessary to return to the ideocratic country and calls for recovering from the Russian disease of self-consciousness – “occidentalistic rootlessness”.

     

  • Interpretacija obraza Rossii kak ehlement formirovanija polskojj nacionalnojj identichnosti

    The article discusses the role of the image of Russia as a factor of the formation of the Polish national identity at the present stage of development. The paper notes that in the dichotomy of “friend or foe” image of Russia rather looks like “foe” – not in conformity with Polish values. At the same time, the article emphasizes the idea of the complexity and diversity of the Polish society, the lack of unity of perception of the image of Russia and Russian–Polish relations.

  • Geoekonomia w relacjach Polski i Rosji – zarys problematyki

    Geo-economics is an approach that, in general, looks at the links between politics and economy in the international arena. This article is an analyses overview of the presence of geo-economics strategy in the Polish-Russian relations. The author focuses particularly on the problems of investment, trade and energy.

  • The level of Poland’s social and economic development in the aspect of the european union’s inner cohesion

    Each enlargement of the European Communities (EC) and later the European Union (EU) has had an indisputable in! uence on inner cohesion of the organization itself. The participants of the integration processes have included the countries deviating from the previous Member States by the level of the economic development, the structures of their economies, macroeconomic conditions, etc. This differentiation has taken its toll especially on the functioning and the expenses of common policies (mainly transfer ones) as well as the execution of the integration reinforcement plans such as the European Economic and Monetary Union. In this aspect the most serious consequences were caused by the admission of countries that were much weaker economically, especially Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal. These countries had to go through a long way of reforms in order to become rightful members of the organization and for their integration with the Communities to become a mutual success. A big part of the expenses connected with these reforms was financed by the common budget thanks to the structural funds and the Common Agricultural Policy.

  • Sacralisation and Purification of the Nation in the Polish and Russian Nationalist Thought?

    Both in the Polish and Russian language the term ‘nation’ is understood in a slightly different way than the English word ‘nation’. It is understood not only in cultural but also political terms, and in numerous contexts it is used to denote ‘the people’ or an ‘ethnic nation/ethnos’. Thus, when we use words ‘nation, nationality, narodnost’, sometimes only the context makes it possible to decide whether we mean the nation, nation or ethnos. However, this lack of clear distinction in the colloquial discourse should not make one conclude that there are not fully shaped nations in Poland and Russia. It is just that the colloquial discourse fails to notice these vague distinctions. In the scientific discourse in both countries, these di! erentiations have been precisely defined and used for a long time.

  • The Position of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Poland on the Privatization of Shipyards between 2005 and 2008

    Shipyards plants were a significant element of Polish government marine policies between 2005 and 2008. The decision made by the Council of Ministers, aimed at taking countermeasures against the credit balance of the following companies of the ship building sector: Stocznia Gdynia S.A., Stocznia Szczecińska Nowa Sp. z o.o. (SSN) and Stocznia Gdańsk Grupa Stoczni Gdynia S.A. (Stocznia Gdańsk GSG S.A.). The only way to achieve economic stability was first through a complete overhaul of their functioning and then through a privatization process. After Poland joined the EU on 1st May, 2004, the process of restructuring these companies was being conducted using public financial aid, to which the European Commission had to give its permission. While becoming the EU member state, Poland was obliged to inform the European Commission of its intention to ! nancially help the shipyards. The Commission‘s decision in this matter depended on how it assessed the plan of restructuring these companies. 

  • The Evolution of the Approach of the State Authorities to Minorities and Ethnic Groups in the Third Republic of Poland (outline of issues)

    The new borders and new ideology imposed on Poland in the a€ ermath of World War II signi cantly a‚ ected the ethnic structure of the state and the approach of its communist authorities towards minority groups. The pre-war Poland was a multi-national state where Poles represented about 69.2% of the population, the remaining 30.8% were the members of minorities – with the biggest communities of Ukrainians, Belarusians, Germans and Jews. According to the first, offiƒcial, post-war census – the minority groups represented a€ er 1945 already only 2% of the citizens of new Poland.

  • The Position of Poland on the Background of Sustainable Development Trends in the Baltic Sea Region

    The Baltic Sea Region was the first multi-country region in the world to adopt common goals and actions for sustainable development. The instrument for that cooperation is Baltic 21 (formally “An Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region”). There are two de"nitions of sustainable development (SD): technical and nontechnical. Technical definition: “a sound balance among the interactions of the impacts (positive and/or negative), or stresses, on the four major quality systems: People, Economic Development, Environment and Availability of Resources”. The non-technical definition was given as being: “a sound balance among the interactions designed to create a healthy economic growth, preserve environmental quality, make wise use of our resources, and enhance social benefits” [Global Community Assessment Centre].

  • The Desired Public Policy Model for Poland during the Transformation Period

    While entering the transformation period, Poland started changes in economics, which was run by the state and was characterized by the lack of market equilibrium and low degree of satisfying the nation’s needs. The change of the state’s role in the economic system became the major challenge for Poland, which started transformations of the system in 1989. The ending of this major phase of transformation can be gauged not only by the degree of state’s withdrawal from the role of the owner and a manager, and replacing this role by a stable set of systemic rules, but also by introducing new market organizing institutions and the degree of € nancial independence of economic entities from the domination of politics.

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