chapter  8
17 Pages

Russian threat as a push factor in the European integration discourse in Poland

WithRafał Riedel

This chapter analyses the Polish electoral campaign for the European Union (EU) Parliament in Poland with the focus on the external threat, namely the Russian aggression in the East, which was dominating the political discourse. It shows the Russian-Ukraine conflict as a determinant of the Polish pro-Western orientations among the public. The 2014 electoral campaign to the EU Parliament in Poland was the first time, after 1989, that the security issues dominated the Polish public discourse to such an extent. The campaign to the EU Parliament was a great opportunity to use and profit politically from the "Ukrainian" topics. The chapter suggests that it is the growing salience of security issues, as perceived by Poland's citizens, correlated with the developments in Ukraine. In comparison to other Central European nations, Poles are the most pessimistic regarding the security situation. For the heavyweight players in European politics, Poland acts as a balancing partner against Russia-leaning EU member states.