Poland: Renegade or Exemplar?

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Poland holds a position of economic, strategic, and political importance in Europe. While some former Eastern bloc countries look to Poland as a model of autonomy, the Western European establishment is sending clear messages that Poland may not enjoy the benefits of European Union membership while thwarting EU governance. At the same time, Eurosceptics in Western Europe and Great Britain also look to Poland’s independence as an inspiration when Brexit has proven difficult to attain.

Poland’s expressions of political will through Law and Justice Party court restructuring have triggered an unprecedented invocation of Article 7 by the European Commission and the European Court of Justice mandated that Poland reverse the court reforms.

Warsaw will be the site of an imminent summit to address wide-ranging security issues. Originally considered a platform for considering the threats emanating from Iran, the United States has recently characterized the summit as a discussion of cybersecurity, terrorism, extremism, and anti-missile security.

Germany and France just concluded a “friendship treaty” that is understood to implicitly warn countries like Poland and Hungary that too much “nationalism” is a threat to the common goals of European member states.

Is Poland becoming too autocratic and did court restructuring fundamentally threaten European notions of rule of law? How does the United States maintain a close relationship with this valued ally while balancing NATO and European allegiances?


Prof. Jakub Grygiel, Associate Professor, Catholic University of America

Moderator: Dr. James Jay Carafano, Vice President, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, and the E. W. Richardson Fellow, The Heritage Foundation

(Prof. Andrzej Bryk, Professor, Jagiellonian University, Poland, was unable to join in this teleforum.)


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