Poland at the crossroads | DocFilm | DW | 30.08.2018
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Poland at the crossroads

The wave of optimism that accompanied Poland's accession to the EU in 2004 is now a distant memory. What explains the extreme shift in Poland? What is the motivation behind Jaroslaw Kaczynski's drastic changes? And what is the impact of his policies?

Watch video 42:31

Since December 2017, the European Commission has been debating whether to undertake disciplinary action against Poland under Article 7 of the EU Treaty. The historic move could in theory result in the suspension of Poland's membership and voting rights within the EU.

The European Commission contends that the judicial reforms introduced by Warsaw in 2017 pose a threat to the rule of law. Poland's domestic opposition agrees, saying the government's actions to curtail the independence of both the judiciary and the media are paving the way for dictatorship.

These moves have been spearheaded by the governing nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS) under the leadership of Jaroslaw Kaczynski. His critics argue that Kaczynski is being underestimated by the West. What is the motivation behind the drastic changes Kaczynski is pushing through? And what is the impact of his policies?

Journalist Annette Dittert travels around Poland to gauge the mood and find an explanation for the country's political shift in recent years. Why is Warsaw seeking open conflict with the EU? And what does the future hold for Poland?