The pro-European forces of Poland got a real chance to return the country to Europe after the parliamentary elections. In addition, this is an opportunity to restore a genuine atmosphere of goodwill and understanding in Ukrainian-Polish relations, according to the well-known Ukrainian journalist and laureate of the Shevchenko National Prize Vitaly Portnikov.
“These relations are important even now, and especially in the post-war period of European and Euro-Atlantic integration of our country. It is also necessary to realize that the return of Poland to Europe also means the possibility of real reforms in the EU, which in turn will speed up the European integration of Ukraine,” Portnikov writes.
The last eight years have been difficult for Poland, the journalist explains. “Many have compared this country to the neighboring Hungary of Viktor Orbán and warned that if the right-wing populists manage to secure one more term in power, it will finally end the period of “orbanization” of Poland and lead to the country losing its important role and opportunities,” Portnikov said.
Jarosław Kaczyński’s Law and Justice party took first place in this year’s parliamentary elections. However, it did not receive enough votes to form a government majority. Portnikov considers this positive for the future of Europe.
“The failure of the Polish right makes it impossible to create an anti-European axis Warsaw-Budapest-Bratislava, the leaders of which should include Kaczyński, Orbán and Fico, who is currently trying to become the new prime minister of Slovakia. The positions of Hungary and Slovakia, even if Fico is able to form a stable government in his country, will naturally be undermined by this defeat of the Law and Justice party”, the journalist writes.
Poland needs to be “literally treated” after the rule of the Law and Justice party, Portnikov adds. In particular, the judicial system, public media, as well as relations with Ukraine
“We will have to change the situation in relations with Ukraine as well. We can say that the last eight years were a permanent crisis in Polish-Ukrainian relations. Russia’s attack on Ukraine forced the leaders of Poland, primarily Andrzej Duda, to change the well-known rhetoric aimed at the electorate of the Law and Justice and Confederation parties, as well as those political actions that were associated with this rhetoric and identified all strategically important points of cooperation of two neighboring countries with the policy of historical memory,” Portnikov says.
When Ukraine becomes a member of the EU, mutual understanding between Ukraine and Poland will make it possible to create a strong Central European block of new democracies, which will play an important role in Europe, the journalist predicts.
“And it remains to be hoped that the European Union will be able to cope with the influx of Eurosceptics in our region of Europe,” Portnikov said.