Thursday, 21 August 2014

Łukasz Moll: The 'Old Federalism' is Retreating

Do we really want more Europe, integration and solidarity? Or should we perhaps first ask exactly what ‘more Europe, integration and solidarity’ should look like? The results of the European elections in Poland show that ‘old federalism’ is retreating. - Łukasz Moll in the Green European Journal.

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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Anna Grodzka MP joins the Green Party

Friday, 27th June. Anna Grodzka MP of the Your Movement defected to the Green Party.  Grodzka will stay in the Your Movement's parliamentary group in order to continue her work as rapporteur of several pieces of legislation: a major progressive revision of the Labour Code, a revision of the Protection of Tenants Act, and a new draft law on gender identity.

Anna Grodzka was elected in 2011 from the list of the Palikot Movement. Before her parliamentary career, she was an entrepreneur and LGBT activist. A self-described eco-socialist, she is currently the only serving transgender member of parliament in the world.

Explaining her decision in an interview with Bartłomiej Kozek of the Zielone Wiadomości (Green News), Grodzka said: „The Greens have a crucial role to play. What we need in Poland is a broad, left-wing, democratic alliance able to resist the duopoly of the right – the neoliberal-statist political block consisting of Law and Justice and Civic Platform. I intend to work on building such an alliance.” The potential for change in the political landscape lies in social movements, Grodzka stressed: „It is social movements that have been the bearers of the will of change, they demand more democracy, a fairer economic policy, sustainable development...”

Referring to her former party, Janusz Palikot's Your Movement, Grodzka said: „Your Movement did change the politics in Poland for the better. […] I am quitting, because the party has fulfilled its historic role. I am glad that I could be part of it. But now, more and more people have the feeling that Your Movement has lost direction […] Janusz Palikot needs to decide whether he wants to build a left-wing party in terms of economic policies, or a liberal one.”

Grodzka pointed out several occasions when she was successful in convincing the Your Movement parliamentary group to take a more left-wing direction. In other cases, however, she voted otherwise than her colleagues. She was against the raising of the retirement age to 67 (from 65 for men and 60 for women) and against supporting the Kraków's bid for being the host city of the Winter Olympic Competition in 2022.

In a press release, the leaders of the Polish Greens Agnieszka Grzybek and Adam Ostolski state that Grodzka has been working together with their party on many issues for a long time. They point out at a deep affinity of Grodzka's political positions and Green policies. They also stress that the Green Party remains equally critical of both parties of the parliamentary left, Your Movement and Democratic Left Alliance alike.

More: interview with Anna Grodzka on her joining the Green Party (in Polish)

Friday, 28 March 2014

Bartłomiej Kozek: Polish and European ghosts of the past

Polish history is shaped today by remembering the failed attempts in regaining independence. This leaves less and less space to tell different, more nuanced stories. This explains why Poland has an ambivalent memory of the First World War. In 1914, it was part of different empires. The end of the war was also the return of its independence. Strengthening alternative narratives may be crucial in opening Poland to stories linking its inhabitants to wider, European history. - Bartłomiej Kozek in the Green Europeam Journal.

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