The Polish Green Party and the Upcoming Elections – An Interview with Bartłomiej Kozek - European Integration

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Bartłomiej Kozek is a member of the National Board of the Polish Greens and co-ordinator
of the working group on social policy and public services within the party.

an Interview with Bartłomiej Kozek by Marianne Ebertowski

Bartłomiej, could you
briefly describe the history of the Polish Green Party?

The Greens appeared on the
Polish political scene in 2003, when disappointment about the left-wing
government started to grow amongst Poles. Ecologists, feminists and members of
the LGBT[1]
community decided to cooperate within a common political movement, which
emerged from one of the initiatives supporting the „Yes“ in the referendum for
EU accession.

The initial enthusiasm came
to a test when in 2004 the party couldn't get enough signatures to run in the
whole of the country for the first elections to the European Parliament in Poland.
For us, this was a first sign that the electoral law is not open to new
political alternatives. One year later, when general elections were due, we
entered a broader, left-wing alliance led by a splinter group from the ruling
Democratic Left Alliance – the Social Democracy of Poland (SDPL), which was led
by a popular former chairman of the Polish Parliament (Sejm), Marek Borowski.
Despite a clear social-democratic agenda focusing on economy, social justice
and the fight against corruption, the party – with Greens on its lists – didn't
pass the 5% threshold and, therefore, didn't get any seats in the parliament.
For many this proved that the monopoly on the left side of the political
spectrum was untouchable.

After a few more unsuccessful
elections, the year 2010 was a breakthrough. The tragic event in Smolensk[2]
caused the SLD's leader, Grzegorz Napieralski, to run in the presidential
elections. After analysing the programmes of the various candidates we decided
to support him, as his electoral platform was the closest to the Greens’
positions. In autumn, thanks to the electoral alliance with the SLD, we got our
first five local councillors – one in a small community near Wrocław
who ran on his own, two city councillors in Opole
and Warsaw and two regional councillors in Silesia and West Pomerania.
That was a huge success, which energised our party.

[1] lesbian, gay, bisexual, and

[2] On 10 April 2011 the Polish
president’s plane crashed near the city of Smolensk while coming in to land killing all
96 people on board all of them belonging to the Polish political and social

Bartłomiej Kozek is a member of the National Board of the
Polish Greens and co-ordinator of the working group on social policy and public
services within the party. He is a journalist for "Zielone
Wiadomości" ("Green News") - a free-of-charge quarterly connected
to the party and collaborator of the Green Institute - a Polish Green
think-tank, where he popularises the idea of the Green New Deal. Bartłomiej
Kozek is a student of culture studies at Warsaw University. 

You can download the interview in full by clicking on the PDF button at the top of the page.