Poland is changing. In 2015, PiS, a nationalist, right-wing party, won an absolute majority in both houses of the Polish parliament and the presidency. Since then, PiS has been systematically taking over the country’s judicial branch by packing the courts with loyalist judges and threatening judicial independence.
This has brought PiS into a confrontation with the European Union, of which Poland is a member; the EU has rules that require member countries have an independent court system. These rules were designed to protect countries from becoming authoritarian. But PiS has simply ignored the EU.
It’s a shocking turn for a country that, just a few years ago, was hailed as one of Europe’s most promising young democracies. PiS is putting Poland’s democracy at risk while also undermining the European Union.