Wednesday

20th Mar 2019

Polish radicals could get into EU parliament

  • Janusz Korwin-Mikke - known for his bow ties amongst other things (Photo: Piotr Drabik)

An anti-European, economically liberal and socially extremely conservative party is polling to scoop up to three of Poland's seats in the EU elections later this month as it cashes in on the country's protest vote.

The New Right party is headed up by a 72-year old anti-establishment figure, Janusz Korwin-Mikke, who has proclaimed that "democracy is stupid".

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"We will sell the site of the European Parliament and turn it into a brothel" is how he describes his aim in the European elections in Do Rzeczy, a weekly. "The creators of this pink decay should be tarred, feathered and hurtled through the streets of Brussels."

Korwin-Mikke is especially popular among voters in their 20s, as his simple solutions appeal to young people. His party is currently polling at 4-6 percent. Reaching the 5 percent electoral threshold means it could win several seats.

In terms of economics, he is an extreme libertarian; making even the American Tea Party look mild by comparison. He believes taxes should be all but abolished and the state should only be responsible for the army and police. He once publicly ate his tax return as a sign of protest.

Korwin-Mikke wants to shut down the "socialist" EU. He would also like to deprive women of their right to vote. He is in favour of capital punishment and a ban on abortion, against civil partnerships and the presence of people with disabilities in public life.

He got involved in politics in the 1960s and was arrested twice for his activity in opposition. When Communism was crumbling in Poland, he created his first libertarian party. Many prominent members of the Civic Platform (PO), which is currently in power, started their career in his grouping, including the government's former spokesman, Pawel Gras, or Slawomir Nitras, an MEP.

No other Polish politician has run in elections so many times: since 1989, he has run for president four times, six times for MP, twice for senator, once for MEP and twice for mayor of Warsaw. He has only won once – in 1991, when he succeeded in getting a seat in the Sejm, Poland's parliament.

He is also known for wearing a bow tie and being a professional bridge payer. When Tomasz Tomczykiewicz (PO) recently mentioned that Korwin-Mikke once drank wine straight from the bottle, he claimed, for revenge, that his competitor had raped the waitress. He later said he was joking.

No political fuel for Poland's far-right

Why is Poland one of the few European countries where far-right parties are almost non-existent? Low immigration and an economy in relatively good shape could be part of the answer.

Magazine

The changing of the guards in the EU in 2019

The four most powerful EU institutions - Commission, Parliament, Council and Central Bank will all have new leaders in the coming ten months. Here is an overview.

Feature

The shadowy EU parliament boss who likes to say 'no'

Despite 10 years in the job, Klaus Welle is the most powerful man in Brussels few have heard of. The Parliament secretary-general has granted EUobserver access to just one paper written by him - and refused 21 other requests.

News in Brief

  1. EPP proposes suspension for Orban's Fidesz
  2. May asks for Brexit extension until 30 June
  3. Juncker: Brexit decision unlikely this week
  4. North Macedonia EU-membership talks set for June
  5. EU ups benefits rights for mobile workers
  6. Chinese leader visits Italy, France as Rome joins 'Silk Road'
  7. EU agrees to sanction political parties breaching data rules
  8. EPP votes Wednesday on future of Orban's party

Magazine

The changing of the guards in the EU in 2019

The four most powerful EU institutions - Commission, Parliament, Council and Central Bank will all have new leaders in the coming ten months. Here is an overview.

Magazine

All about the European Parliament elections 2019

EUobserver's new magazine is meant to help readers prepare for the European Parliament elections, no matter their level of knowledge. You can download and read the entire magazine now.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  4. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  7. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  12. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership

Latest News

  1. May tosses Brexit spanner into EU machinery
  2. Centre-right EPP faces showdown with Orban
  3. A compromise proposal for the Article 50 extension
  4. US glyphosate verdict gives ammunition to EU activists
  5. Have a good reason for Brexit extension, Barnier tells UK
  6. EU countries push for new rule of law surveillance
  7. EU rolls out €525m for military projects, but bars illegal tech
  8. May to seek Brexit extension amid UK 'constitutional crisis'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us