In Poland, Tusk’s Post-PiS Repair Job Isn’t Going to Plan

In Poland, Tusk’s Post-PiS Repair Job Isn’t Going to Plan
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk speaks at a press conference, Warsaw, Poland, Feb. 19, 2024 (Sipa photo by Attila Husejnow via AP Images).

In a significant political shift, Poland’s Law and Justice Party, or PiS, was ousted from power in the country’s parliamentary elections last October. During its eight years in government, the nationalist conservative party had undermined the rule of law, restricted women’s reproductive rights and exerted control over state media, all of which combined to erode Poland’s democratic foundations.

Poland’s standing on the world stage also diminished under PiS due to its close relationship with former U.S. President Donald Trump; its propensity to pick quarrels with the European Union and other key European allies, particularly Germany; and a shift toward a confrontational approach to neighboring Ukraine—including a suspension of military support for Kyiv—in the lead-up to the election.

The vote in October indicated that the task of governing the country should fall to the Civic Coalition, led by former Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who had also served as president of the European Council before returning to Poland to lead the opposition into the elections. Speaking moments after the exit polls pointing to the opposition’s victory were announced, Tusk heralded the end of “evil times.”

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.