This article explores the likelihood of a future Polish exit from the EU. The analysis highlights the rise of populist Euroscepticism within Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) and its conflicts with EU institutions. It suggests that a Polexit remains a highly remote prospect today, yet the presence of a structural gap in the Polish legal system creates space for future exploitation by anti-EU actors.
The key points of the article are outlined below:
- The article compares Brexit and Polexit, focusing on structural factors and political actions.
- Structural elements, like historical distinctiveness, drove the narrative of Brexit’s inevitability in the UK. In contrast, Poland’s economic dependence on the EU makes a Polexit less likely.
- However, Poland’s EU membership lacks constitutional affirmation, potentially allowing a legislative vote to trigger Polexit, without the need for a referendum.
- Agency-driven factors, such as referendums in the UK and conflicts with the EU in Poland, have fueled Euroscepticism in both countries.
- Yet a largely pro-European sentiment remains in Poland, which currently discourages mainstream parties from pursuing Polexit. A shift in public opinion would be necessary for this to change.
- Thus while a short-term Polexit is unlikely, it shouldn’t be ruled out in the long term. It depends on evolving public opinion, internal politics, and the determination of political actors.
- The 2023 election in Poland will be important in assessing the future relationship between Poland and the EU, especially if a party hostile to the EU gains power.