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Bringing Poland Back to Europe

Thirty years ago, Poles overcame their internal divisions and resoundingly rejected communism and subservience to the Soviet Union. Today, confronted by a divisive populist government, they must remain as united in the cause of democracy and the rule of law as they were in 1989.

WARSAW – French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent call to reform the European Union is a sign of hope for the entire continent. Even though we have our differences, we are in agreement when it comes to the essential questions. Macron is fundamentally right about what Europe must do to continue flourishing. We must revitalize the EU by making it more democratic, cohesive, and just. And we must strengthen Europe against enemies that want to weaken it – namely, internal populist forces and the foreign powers that support them. 

When populists achieve power, as the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has in Poland, they dream of sowing division among democratic opposition parties. But we have overcome their cynical strategy by creating the European Coalition of opposition forces ahead of the European Parliament elections in May. This new democratic alliance, which I lead, is already ahead in opinion polls and is on its way to defeating PiS – first in May, and then in Poland’s general election this fall.

Both elections are crucial. Poland needs a new government that respects the rule of law and plays a positive role in the EU. And Europe needs a Poland that, while defending its own interests, also fights strongly for the democratic values that are essential to the EU’s future.