At some point, the Polish mass protests against abortion legislation tightening, dating back to October, seemed to have dropped out of sight with the world media or at least lost the lead among the news. This should not be particularly surprising, given the dramatic eventfulness of the elapsing year 2020. Having become better organized , the protests themselves are here to stay. One of them took place on Sunday, December 13, in downtown Warsaw to bring together several thousand people. The managerial mission was traditionally assumed by the Strajk kobiet (All-Poland Women's Strike) movement, which is at the forefront of the "abortion Maidan". The Sunday rally proper was arranged to coincide with the 39th anniversary of the introduction of martial law in Poland (1981-1983). "This day, we go for freedom. The authorities have not yet learned that any form of oppression generates resistance," the event's organizing committee said. On the streets of Warsaw, there were both purely "subject-matter" slogans ("My abortion is not your decision", "My body, my choice") and political ones, such as a call to remove the ruling Law and Justice Party from power.
We have previously noted that even if the Polish unrest is linked to the key foreign players, it is not one hundred percent true, with underlying causes hidden in the country's 20th century history. Nevertheless, the systemic and non-systemic opposition to the Law and Justice regime has acquired a potential powerful ally as represented by the new Washington administration.
Andrzej Duda and Jaroslaw Kaczynski's ultraconservative regime had a fellow feeling for Trump, holding out hope for his re-election and tacit extension of Poland's role as an American "Trojan horse" in the Old World, constraining both Germany and Russia. The Biden administration is determined to take the path of bringing cooperation with Europe back to the pre-Trump level. Poland will not only be unsupported by Washington like before, it will probably have to hit a rough patch.
This is virtually stated by one of the leaders of American globalists and near-democratic circles, the seemingly eternal billionaire George Soros. On November 18, an article of his was published condemning attempts by Warsaw and Budapest to block the European Union's solidarity measures aimed at Europe's socio-economic recovery after the coronavirus. "Hungary and Poland have vetoed the European Union’s proposed €1.15 trillion ($1.4 trillion) seven-year budget and the €750 billion European recovery fund. Although the two countries are the budget’s biggest beneficiaries, their governments are adamantly opposed to the rule-of-law conditionality that the EU has adopted at the behest of the European Parliament. They know that they are violating the rule of law in egregious ways, and do not want to pay the consequences... The EU can’t afford to compromise on the rule-of-law provisions. How it responds to the challenge posed by Orbán and Kaczyński will determine whether it survives as an open society true to the values upon which it was founded," Soros wrote, referring to the Hungarian and Polish leaders as the main revisionists of the European liberal order.
However, following the summit in Brussels, the Poles and Hungarians seem to have agreed to sanction support for EU draft budgets for 2021-2027 and the Economic Recovery Fund. But this is a deceitful peace, with both parties claiming it was them who extorted concessions with the opponents. The EU says the Poles have consented to the vague declarative "rule of law" principle, while the Poles say they've managed to evade this delicate issue. Obviously, new squabbles are still ahead. It is for a reason that the recent weeks have been witnessing the growing popularity of the term "Polexit" among the media and experts – a hypothetical Polish equivalent of Brexit; but it is still more of a rhetorical figure of speech, and not tomorrow's political reality.
The Polish ruling circles probably believe that although their role as an anti-Russian and anti-German ally of the United States has lost half (the German half) of its immediate relevance or so, their importance as an anti-Russian ally of Berlin and Washington taken together will increase by about the same amount. However, the devil is in the detail. The Germans are not going to give up on their discretion along the Russian track and a possible agreement with Moscow on specific matters, provided that those are beneficial to them. Neither are they going to be a vehicle for Warsaw's purposes – unless invertedly.
Apparently, Poland's value as a US agent in its games involving Belarus will stay the same or even increase. Trump's foreign policy team was broadly interested in the Belarusian story, although somewhat vicariously, as an appendix to the Chinese narrative, with Lukashenko being Beijing's important and valuable partner. The democratic administration is noticeably stronger in activating the value-based point, the issue of "fighting tyranny", etc. As a regional sponsor and struggle inspirer, Poland will be in high demand here. Again, within certain, albeit wide limits.
In theory, Biden's Catholic faith could be of dramatic help to the Warsaw authorities. However, the new White House owner is a liberal-spirit Catholic, akin to what is now inherent in the Vatican, with family and sexual emancipation, sympathy or direct support for LGBT people, protection of a free, if not light-minded interpretation of pivotal Christian dogmas. All of this is alien to the firmly conservative national-tinged Catholicism of the "Law and Justice" Party. By the way, the Polish clergy and the secular authorities that protect it have disagreements with the Vatican itself, not only ideological and religious, but also, let's say, administrative. The Holy Apostolic See is irritated by the traditional claims of John Paul II's compatriots to a special role in the Roman Catholic Church.
So, Poland under the rule of Law and Justice, just like Orban's Hungary, will be an inconvenient and tough ally to the EU and the Biden administration, although not nearly as bad as Erdogan's Turkey. They will interact with it, while simultaneously criticizing and half-openly backing the opposition.