Tuesday

29th Nov 2022

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

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe 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.

Swedish EU presidency: 'Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine'

Ukraine and a looming economic recession is set to dominate the upcoming Swedish EU presidency, which takes over at the start of next year. Sweden's ambassador to the EU, Lars Danielsson, laid out some of its priorities.

French official accused of conflict over EU fish lobby job

A senior French official is being accused of conflicts of interest for spearheading a leading role in Europeche, a fishing-industry lobby group based in Brussels. The hire comes as the EU Commission threatens a lawsuit against France over fishing.

Swedish EU presidency: 'Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine'

Ukraine and a looming economic recession is set to dominate the upcoming Swedish EU presidency, which takes over at the start of next year. Sweden's ambassador to the EU, Lars Danielsson, laid out some of its priorities.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. Legal scholars: Prosecuting Putin 'legally problematic'
  2. A missed opportunity in Kazakhstan
  3. EU's Hungary funds, China, energy, and Frontex This WEEK
  4. Sweden says 'no' to EU asylum relocation pledges
  5. The 'proof' problem with EU sanctions — and how to fix it
  6. The EU gas cap: will the bottle ever be 'uncorked'?
  7. Enough talk, only rights can eliminate patriarchal violence
  8. Swedish EU presidency: 'Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us