Explain Poland

Way down below in a discussion of Putin, Ukraine, Russia, and authoritarianism, one of our regulars Stanley Kopacz asks what's going on in Poland. Is Poland authoritarian or is the conservative party now in power turning to authoritarian methods. Dan Bilefsky at the NYTimes (June 2, 2016) reports a critical decision by the EU on the issue of an independent judiciary:

"The European Union’s executive branch chastised Poland on Wednesday after determining that it had failed to uphold the rule of law, a rare intervention that reflected increasing alarm in the West about the government’s commitment to democratic norms."

Any Poland watchers here who can weigh in on the question of Poland and authoritarian issues?


Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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