The victory of Duda, an ally of the ruling Nationalist Law and Justice Party (PiS), allows the government to pursue reforms in the judiciary and the media that European Commission has previously declared that it lacks democratic standards. The second round of the presidential election is also a vote on the policies of the ruling Conservative Party PiS, which has ruled the country with an absolute majority since 2015.
This result leads to new conflicts between Poland and the European Commission, as the European Union seeks to prevent arbitrary clashes between governments and the rise of nationalism among the 27 members of the European Union under the pretext of confronting Corona. Besides, another concern is the further deterioration of Poland’s relations with Germany. Duda recently criticized Berlin, accusing the German media of reporting one-sidedly on developments in his country.
Tensions between the two countries have risen in recent weeks with Poland announcing its readiness to accept US troops likely to leave Germany. While Brussels and Berlin have criticized Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Germany and called for a halt to it, Poland has welcomed the decision.
In the years since Trump took office, Poland has sought to move closer to the United States, which in addition to widening the gap between the country and the European Union, has led to a strong Russian stance. In this regard, in early July, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Groszko said that Warsaw officials should be aware of the costs of gaining a front-line position against Russia, including the implications for Poland’s security.
Despite these objections, Washington and Warsaw have been discussing increasing US military presence in Poland since the fall of 2018. It is now estimated that between 4,500 and 5,000 US troops are currently stationed in Poland. But if we go back a little, when Duda was not yet President of Poland, Poland had one of the most popular European governments among the former Eastern Bloc countries. But as he and the Conservative Law and Justice Party came to power, the process came to a halt, and criticism of the Polish government in Europe increased.
Withdrawal from CEDAW
The Istanbul Convention is the most comprehensive legal framework available to address violence against women and girls, covering issues such as domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment, female genital mutilation, and forced marriage. Poland ratified the convention in 2015 before the Conservative Justice and Law Party came to power. But now the current Warsaw government is arguing that the convention, drafted by the Council of Europe as a 47-member human rights organization, runs counter to the values of the Polish Roman Catholic Church family.
Andre Duda’s victory in the Polish presidential election in July marked a continuation of policies that seem to have further isolated the country from the EU and possibly even led to its withdrawal from the EU in later stages. Therefore, Poland’s possible withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention would be very unfortunate and would jeopardize the progress made in protecting women against violence in Europe.
But the reason for such an important decision was certainly not a personal decision by Duda, and it can be said that this decision happened for several reasons. First of all, the close relationship between the Catholic Church and the ruling party has been undeniable and since the Catholic Church did not unanimously agree with CEDAW, the re-emergence of Dudad provided an opportunity to put an end to their cold-hearted presence at the convention.
Secondly, after the escalation of tensions between Brussels and Poland over the reform of the judiciary and the media, Poland is somehow seeking to withdraw from the convention to prove that it will run the country as it wishes and does not require any hearings from the European Union.
Finally, Since the Justice and Justice Party’s approach is conservative, it decided to leave CEDAV after regaining its victory and consolidating its power. Because opposing violence against women gives more freedom to women in society; an idea that seems very ridiculous in the 21st century.
In conclusion, after consolidating his power, it seems that Duda is seeking fundamental changes in Poland this time, some of which are contrary to EU policies. The changes that began with the withdrawal of Warsaw from the Istanbul Convention were met with opposition from Europe and even the Polish people themselves. After consolidating his power, it seems that Duda is seeking fundamental changes in Poland this time, some of which are contrary to EU policies. The changes that began with the withdrawal of Warsaw from the Istanbul Convention were met with opposition from Europe and even the Polish people themselves. Accordingly, it seems that this is just the beginning and we should gradually see Poland withdraw from the European Union.
*Amin Bagheri is a member of the Iranian International Studies Association in Tehran. His research focuses on Iran and the Middle East.