Brussels is hoping Poland’s newly sworn-in prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, will help ease the tensions between Warsaw and the European Union.
Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) is at odds with the EU over immigration, attempts to control the courts and the media and even the logging of an ancient forest.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, Morawiecki – a centrist and a fluent English-speaker – is tasked not only with improving the dialogue with Europe but also expanding PiS’s appeal to middle-of-the-road Polish voters ahead of a busy election cycle starting next year.
European Council President and fellow Pole Donald Tusk has called on him to pursue European unity. However, former President and arch PiS critic Lech Walesa is less sanguine: “The circus has stayed the same, only the clowns have changed their roles,” he tweeted.
Morawiecki, 49, replaced Beata Szydlo, who became a deputy prime minister. PiS replaced the popular Szydlo last week in a bid to improve Poland’s image abroad and prepare the conservatives for a series of elections, reported Reuters.