At the final meeting of the Academy in.europa we had an honour to welcome Mr Jerzy Baczyński, the Editor-in-Chief of POLITYKA, a Polish weekly newsmagazine, with whom we have discussed the challenges faced by Poland, Europe and the world in 2019.
Since we gathered just a few days after the assassination of Mayor of Gdańsk, Paweł Adamowicz, we had to begin the meeting with several words in remembrance of him. Asked about possible implications of this terrible event for the politics in 2019 editor Baczyński predicted that governing party, Law and Justice, might restrain from any comments on this murder, call for calm and as a result try to present itself as a peaceful and pro-European party. However, the course of events in forthcoming days will verify this forecast.
Turmoil observed in recent days in the British parliament provoked questions about possible ending of the Brexit process. Our guest treated the debate over this issue as a trigger for the reflection upon the future of democracy. By comparing British referendum with Jair Bolsonaro’s policies he expressed anxiety about the world where the sovereign is a capricious dictator whose will is immediately implemented by the politicians.
As the parliamentary election will be the most important political event in Poland this year we asked Mr Baczyński about electoral and post-electoral perspectives for our country. Our guest has no illusions: if the opposition does not unite around constitutional values in one bloc, it will not win. However, potential loss of power would be very risky for Law and Justice. Furthermore, united opposition, even though victorious, will have difficulties with reaching mutual internal agreement on the formation of government due to its heterogenic character. L&J may then take advantage of this situation and try to convince some opposition deputies to join the party and thus remain in charge, which will be certainly facilitated by the President. Therefore, the elections will not be the end of the game, as editor Baczyński stated.
The participants of the Academy in.europa have also asked our guest about new movements on Polish political stage and possible comeback of Donald Tusk. Mr Baczyński expressed the view that new right-wing parties can play a major role in the elections, similar to that of Kukiz movement in 2015. Regarding Biedroń’s initiative editor Baczyński shared with us some doubts about his credibility as PR specialists and businessmen associated formerly with L&S support him. When it came to Donald Tusk, he asserted that the incumbent President of the European Council would be one and only politician who could guide Poland and the opposition through the post-election crisis.
At the end of the meeting, after we expressed gratitude to Mr Jerzy Baczyński for arrival and patronage of the Academy in.europa, our guest distinctly repeated the motto of a New Year’s issue of POLITYKA: this year will be the most important one in the history of democratic Poland after 1989.
The person responsible for moderating the meeting and preparing the abovementioned summary was Kamil Laskowski, participant of the in.europa Academy 2018.
Jerzy Baczyński, Anna Radwan and Łukasz Lipiński thanked the participants of the Academy in.europa for their activity.
You are the elite of this nation. These diplomas confirm this – said Jerzy Baczyński, handing the diplomas – The future is in your hands.
The European Commission Representation Office in Poland has the patronage on the Academy in.europa.