Thursday (March 10th): Morawiecki’s rise in popularity

Mateusz Morawiecki

Name? Mateusz Morawiecki

Westphalian identity? Polish

Age? 53

Why is he in the news? Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki made new friends over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. A month ago, Morawiecki was critised for Polish handling of migrants at the Belarusian border and his government’s laws undermining division of power. Today, Poland’s welcoming of Ukrainian refugees and the country’s importance in the Western response to Putin’s aggressions put Morawiecki in a more favourable position.

Why do we care? A month ago, not a single EU statement on Poland went without criticism about Morawiecki undermining the rule of law. The Commision even decided to freeze the EU’s recovery aid for Poland until it reversed the law. Today, EU top officials praise Poland and emphasise how united the Union is. Not only the EU suddenly likes Morawiecki’s government again, the US has moved thousands of extra troops to the country and uses it as the lynchpin of the Western effort to defend Ukraine and deter Russia.

Why should you care? Poland’s role in receiving Ukrainian refugees is important and as far as reports inform us, Morawiecki’s government has done a good job so far. At least some good news, you should care 9/10,  BUT also care about reports of African students being hindered by Ukrainian authorities to flee. 

Who else cares? President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen hopes to capitalise on this newfound unity and hopes to clear EU recovery funds for Poland. In response, Morawiecki instructed the Polish parliament to draft a bill that includes scrapping a contested disciplinary chamber for judges.

Any further comments? Yesterday Morawiecki’s government overstepped their role when it offered the US MiG-29 fighter jets (in exchange for better US jets) as an intermediary step toward transferring them to Ukraine. A publicly announced move that caught the US by surprise leading to its rejection over concerns that this would inch NATO closer to a direct confrontation with Russia.

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordinator