In this answer, some of PiS party in Poland's policies are characterized as being a possible danger to democracy in Poland.

It is clear why this would be a concern for Poland's citizens.

But why is it a concern for the other EU countries?

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1 Answer 1


Ideological reasons:

The Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (consolidated version) says:

The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights

This ideological foundation is incompatible with authoritarianism. But ideologies are usually trumped by realpolitical considerations, so let's move on.

Economical considerations:

There already are considerable protests against these policies in Poland. The recent reform of the constitutional court caused spontaneous protests of tens of thousands of people to which PiS supporters responded with counter-protests of similar size. Large, opposing protests are worrisome, because they can easily escalate into full-blown street riots.

Why is that an economical factor?

Unofficial priority number one for the European Union is "free trade must not be disturbed" and riots in Poland would do exactly that. They would brand the country as politically unstable, which would deter investors and traders.

There is even a small chance that this situation might escalate into a full-blown civil war in Poland, which would - needless to say - be quite a catastrophe for the European Union. And this time there is no excuse for not taking refugees: EU citizens have complete freedom of movement in the EU.

Innerpolitical party-tactics:

In many European states, the governing parties currently feel an increasing competition from right-wing nationalist parties. They are afraid that should Poland be successful and unopposed with their current course of action, it might cause a ripple effect which also strengthens similar parties in their own states and erodes their own power-base.

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    There have been dozens of wars in Europe in the last 70 years (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_Europe), though; the Bosnian War alone killed over 100,000.
    – Charles
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 18:42
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    @Charles that depends on how you define "Europe" and "War". But I really don't want to have another pointless comment-discussion about semantics, so I removed that sentence.
    – Philipp
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 18:56
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    Also not that PiS have talked about stopping non-Polish companies from owning companies in Poland.
    – liftarn
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 11:24
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    Most western countries have no problem doing trade with China, even though it's a much more ruthless dictatorship than the PiS.
    – Bregalad
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 21:28
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    @Bregalad But the Chinese have their population under control, ensuring a safe environment for trade. As I wrote in the second part of my answer: the danger for trade is not a dictatorship, it's the riots against a dictatorship.
    – Philipp
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 8:23

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