Poland and the EU?

EUobserver / EU's dream candidate wins Polish election: "The 58-year-old historian, aristocrat and former anti-Communist activist is set to be inaugurated in mid-August to become Poland's fifth head of state since the fall of Communism in 1989. The outcome is a victory for the younger, urban class of Poles in northern and western Poland, who have prospered over the past 20 years and who see the country's future in terms of further EU integration, market liberalisation and reconciliation with Germany and Russia."

Bronislaw Komorowski won over Jaroslaw Kaczynski with 53% of the vote against 47%. A close call for EU favorables who happily received the news. This makes it possible for Donald Tusk, the Prime Minister, and his party the Civic Platform to dominate the scene for a while. Tusk and Komorowski are very favorable to the EU and indeed want to join the Euro as soon as possible. The Kaczynskis on the other have had a much more nationalistic bent. The Polish people thus are divided between those that want to integrate in the EU and those who want to maintain Polish integrity. Thus the maturity of the Polish democracy will be tested.

The longing of an integral Poland is understandable. Poland lost 6m people during World War II and have been occupied by the Soviet Union for so many years. However, sandwiched between Russia and Germany, Poland also hopes that the EU will buffer their power and that membership will afford stability and prosperity. Carl Bildt claims that Tusk, Komorowski and Sikorski is more amenable to Swedish collaboration.

The Catholic Church played an important role during the liberation from the Soviet Union, but now with Kaczynski era over due to the Smolensk disaster where Kaczynski friends preferentially were eradicated, perhaps its importance will be less influential. Poland will thus become more of a normal European state. According to the above citation young urban Poles have prospered a lot and many of them are probably connected with the 15 to 20m diaspora, to be compared with a population of 40m, which have been important for the post-communistic growth of Poland. Some 8m Poles live in the US and Chicago is the second largest Polish city in the world. I don't know how symbolic it was of Poland to chose the 4th of July for the Presidential election.

However, Jaroslaw Kaczynskis strong showing in the second round of the election points in a direction were Bronislaw Komorowski might not dare to make necessary reforms due to soon upcoming elections which could be utilized by Kaczynski.

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