Polonezii ştiu să spună NU

When Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) came to power in 2015, the party and its leader, Jarosław Kaczyński, claimed to represent Poles who feel like they missed out on the country’s quarter century of political and economic revolution. PiS cast its rivals as arrogant crony politicians who cashed in on Poland’s transition and represented the richer western half of the country, known as “Poland A,” and treated the eastern, poorer half — “Poland B” — with disdain.

Ten years later, with party now back in power with a strong majority in parliament, the same messaging is at work in PiS’s current standoff with the European Commission. In Kaczyński’s version, the crisis prompted by concerns about rule of law and democracy in Poland is really about something else: arrogant Brussels bureaucrats and their supporters in Warsaw who don’t understand the needs and aspirations of average Poles.