‘Good change’ and migration policy in Poland: In a trap of democracy

The seizure of almost all state institutions in Poland by the Law and Justice party (PiS) since 2015, and its related ‘good change’ policy, has affected respect for the human rights of the whole society, and indeed the rights of migrants, particularly asylum seekers. The populist attitude to the migration crisis of 2015 -2016 turned out to be a litmus test of the resilience of democratic values and human rights. The breakdown of democracy and the issue of migrants’ rights appear to be complementary phenomena. The Polish experience also shows that there is no such thing as an inherent resistance of the law against improper use. The law cannot defend itself, but has become a tool of the ruling politicians. Therefore, democratic decay is not primarily a legal, but rather a political problem, which may be overcome not by legal means (the law itself) but by the people’s will expressed during elections.