The European Coalition (KE) has presented its leaders in the upcoming European elections. Only a third of the current Civic Platform (PO) MEPs has a real life chance to return to the Strasbourg chamber in July. Some very well known MEPs are not coming back.
The lead candidates are:
In Gdańsk (region 1) the current MEP and former European Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski opens the list. The second in line is Magdalena Adamowicz, widow of the late mayor of Gdańsk Paweł Adamowicz.
In Bydgoszcz-Toruń (region 2) the former foreign minister Radosław Sikorski is likely to take the MEP mandate.
In Olsztyn-Białystok (region 3) the leader of the list is an ex-football player Tomasz Frankowski.
In Warsaw (region 4), which has been a traditional stronghold for the PO and where the European Coalition is expected to do very well, Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz is the lead candidate. Mr Cimoszewicz is a former prime minister, who as foreign minister signed Poland’s EU accession treaty back in 2003. Behind him are current MPs, but not the MEPs!
Hübner and Boni are out!
Two popular and powerful Warsaw MEPs are not running!
Both Danuta Hübner (AFCO chair, ex-European Commissioner) and Michał Boni are no longer among the candidates for the European Parliament. The information provided is that both were offered too low positions on the list.
Awhile back there was a gossip that there might be room for some liberal-minded and well-known candidates on the lists of the Spring of Robert Biedroń….
Boni tweeted: “I want to run with the European Coalition and do well what I used to do. But I need to have a chance. I was denied one. Poland needs to win. And I will serve Her in every single way! [Civic] Platform, maybe see you soon…”
In Mazowsze (region 5) Jarosław Kalinowski, who is MEP with the PSL, opens the list, followed by Dariusz Rosati, a PO MEP. Only one of them has a realistic chance to return to the European Parliament.
In Łódź (region 6) the European Coalition list leader is Marek Belka, a former prime minister and a great economic mind: a future leading ECON voice.
In Poznań (region 7) another former prime minister Ewa Kopacz is leading the pack. Just behind her is another former PM Leszek Miller.
In Lublin (region 8) the current MEP Krzysztof Hetman of PSL is the frontman.
In Rzeszów (region 9) another PSL MEP is the European Coalition lead candidate. The chairman of AGRI committee Czesław Siekierski will confront the Law and Justice candidates in their stronghold.
In Kraków (region 10) the leading Polish federalist Róża Thun MEP (PO) is leading the list ahead of Adam Jarubas, a popular PSL politician.
The Katowice list (region 11) is led by the former president of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek and ITRE chair, who, if elected, could be among the Parliament’s eldest members (79 years old).
In Wrocław (region 12) a long-time humanitarian activist Janina Ochojska is opening the list.
In Szczecin (region 13) the leader of the list is the current S&D vice-president of the Parliament Bogusław Liberadzki (SLD). Just behind him is a popular former health minister Bartosz Arłukowicz (PO).
The European Coalition has a problem. Last weekend the Law and Justice has forced the Coalition into a defence with a smear campaign of lies about the Warsaw LGBT+ Declaration.
Now this list is a patchwork. There are liberals and conservatives and agrarians and social democrats here. There is only one thing that unites them all: the fear the PiS may want or not a Polexit… Gregorz Schetyna, leader of PO and someone who pulled the strings to arrange the list likes to say that a Polexit may well be an unintended consequence of the PiS rule.
There will be many infighting between the KE candidates. For example in Poznań Mr Miller is highly unpopular with the PO voters; hence less known third (MEP Andrzej Grzyb of PSL) or fourth (Mirosław Stępień of the Greens) or the quite popular but relegated to the fifth place (Adam Szejnfeld MEP of PO) candidates have a shot!
It will not be an easy road for Mr Siekierski in Rzeszów area. The AGRI chair is traditionally linked with another region and the KE has limited arsenal in this PiS stronghold.
Also in Szczecin it will not be a walk for Mr Liberadzki. Mr Arłukowicz is a popular man there and the Civic Platform has potentially an upper hand in the region. However, a constructive rivalry between them could result… with both of them being elected to the EP!
Still, with the absence of Hübner and the age of Buzek the leading faces of the future Polish EPP are Janusz Lewandowski and Róża Thun. Since Ms Thun has not held any major office in the Parliament until now she may well be positioned for one of the leading posts after 23 May. She has been an MEP since 2009. Until now the Polish EPP controlled 3 committee chairman- and chairwoman-ships: Siekierski of AGRI, Buzek of ITRE and Hübner of AFCO. Mr Lewandowski is the head of the national delegation. Mr Grzyb and Mr Zwiefka were EPP coordinators in DROI and JURI, accordingly – their future in the EP remains uncertain.