Law and Justice (PiS), the party of outgoing Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, chaired by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, won the parliamentary elections on 13th October in Poland. The party won 43.59% of the vote and 235 of the 460 seats in the Diet (Seim), the lower house of Parliament and 48 of the 100 seats in the Senate.
The Union's next multiannual financial framework is on the agenda of the European Council of 17th and 18th October. Whilst the departure of the UK will reduce budgetary resources and new priorities demand new balances, debate over the European budget will demand courage, close to heroism on the part of our leaders. Two recommendations might encourage them in this: abandoning the multiannual straitjacket and setting the principle of budgetary regularity.
The programme of the new President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen in terms of climate change has benefited from a favourable political and social context, which the Union must transform into an action plan. It is starting off on a fragile balance, between legal trade obligations and the respect of the WTO's rules, between the protection of the environment and faith in "sustainable" growth and is conditioned by a consensus between States.
Whilst the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003 opened up European prospects for the Western Balkans, the agenda that was promoted then has hardly been completed to date. These countries have experienced worrying democratic regression in a serious demographic and economic situation which is playing into the hands of re-emerging powers. The re-engagement of the European Union with the Berlin Process and the six flagship initiatives on the part of the Commission, approved in 2018 is positive, but is now seen to be lacking. Divisions are still deep, and reconciliation is waning. Given the fragile stability of these countries, which are now being wooed by third parties, the time has come for a new approach. Economic and political re-engagement, including the launch of membership negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, but based on a new framework, is vital for the very security of Europe.
The US trade policy is destabilising the international trade system severely. The EU is fighting to maintain stability of a system under dire threat. This is an extremely difficult task but also a historic occasion to modify and adapt the international system to future challenges.