Poland

  • The Correlation Between The Electoral System in The Presidential Elections and The Constitutional Position of The Head of State in The Light of The Discussion on The Change of The Polish Constitution

    Amending a constitution or replacing it with a new one is never easy. Even if politicians usually have a lot of ideas how it should be done, the real problem is to put these ideas into practice. If the President Duda’s initiative is to succeed, so in other words – if such a referendum is to be held, the consent of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, i.e. the second chamber of the Polish parliament is needed. According to the Article 125 of the current Constitution the consent of the Senate is given “by an absolute majority vote taken in the presence of at least half of the statutory number of Senators”. And while Law and Justice has such an absolute majority of seats in the Senate, it is difficult to say with certainty whether today, in the face of a rather tight relationship between President Duda and the Law and Justice’s leadership, Senators of this party will support the president’s initiative. And even if the referendum is held, it will only be the first step. The change of the constitution itself requires either the so-called ‘constitutional majority’ or a bipartisan consent, that is the agreement between the ruling party and at least part of the opposition. For the moment Law and Justice does not have such a constitutional majority, even if it joins forces with Kukiz ’15 parliamentary faction – the only political group that welcomed President Duda’s initiative with great enthusiasm. Other Polish political parties do not want to hear about any constitutional change accusing both Law and Justice and President Duda of repeatedly violating the constitution that is currently in force. Of course, it may change after the next parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for 2019 and 2020 respectively, especially if Law and Justice gets even better results, what – at least today – is suggested in the opinion polls. Maybe then, to change the constitution, they will not need agreement with any other political party, just like the Hungarian Fidesz after the 2010 elections. However, there is no doubt that disputes on the competences and powers of the President of the Republic of Poland, especially (but not only) in the context of the way he/she is elected, will return regularly in the discussions on potential constitutional changes. The possible evolution of the Polish parliamentarism into the presidential or semi-presidential regime would force a significant increase in the powers of the head of state, still elected directly by the people. Staying within the framework of the parliamentary regime would require a more precise definition of the constitutional position of the President of the Republic of Poland, leaving open the issue of the way he/she is elected.

  • The Place of Nato in Russian Security Policy in The 21st Century – Overview of The Matter

    In 2006 Dimitry Trenin stated that Russia left the West and began to work on creation of her own sphere on influence. The area of Russian activity in particular was the post-Soviet zone where Moscow wanted to rebuild their dominant position. Sergey Karaganow added: “Moscow has realized that she neither wants to nor she can afford to integrate with the West on the conditions proposed by the West – the type of integration without the right of veto”38. Alexander Dugin, an Euro-Asian ideologist claimed: “We proved that we did not give a damn about NATO and we were not afraid of it. We have the nuclear weapon and we are ready to use it. Russia crossed the line from which she can not withdraw anymore. This is a course for the revival of Russian sovereignty and the position of regional power – in practice, not just in words”39. The above quotations reflect the Russian attitude to the NATO and show the role of this organization for Russia. Undoubtedly, the Alliance is perceived by Russia as a threat and a rival. The reasons of such perception are primarily the Alliance’s claims to play the role of a “guardian” of global peace, attempts to interfere in the area recognized by Russia as her sphere of influence, strengthening the position of NATO in Eastern Europe and project of development new defence technologies such as missile defence. Since the 90s Russia consistently has been trying to undermine the importance of NATO and to put it into the frame of international structures of security governance. In 2010 minister Sergey Lavrov argued that NATO is a relic of a bygone era and should be subjugated to the principles of the UN Security Council.

  • A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Lithuanian and Polish Adolescents’ Conflict Styles

    Based on the assumption that cultural orientations affect interpersonal conflicts, the study examined conflict styles across two national cultures of neighboring European countries, i.e. Lithuania and Poland. Whereas Poland and Lithuania score relatively high in terms of individualism, they differ in terms of power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity-femininity. For the research purposes, a conflict resolving style questionnaire was applied, which was prepared by T. Wach according to the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. The questionnaire was administered to 520 participants aged 13–15. Conflict style comparisons demonstrated that the Lithuanians chose dominating and accommodating styles more often than the Polish did, and the Polish chose integrating more often than the Lithuanians. The research findings can be a valuable source in predicting conflict resolution patterns.

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