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Democratic Lessons from the EU

Summary:
Highly centralized political systems in Poland and other countries create a pernicious winner-take-all dynamic and polarize debate. The European Union's governance system, by contrast, offers an appealing practical model for more decentralized democratic decision-making. WARSAW – Criticizing European Union institutions, and demanding that they be reformed, is a popular pastime. But as the EU’s unified front in the never-ending Brexit negotiations has made clear, European institutions are remarkably effective in managing political diversity. Perverse as it may sound to some, nation-states can learn from Europe in addressing their own democratic deficits. The Economy We Need

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Highly centralized political systems in Poland and other countries create a pernicious winner-take-all dynamic and polarize debate. The European Union's governance system, by contrast, offers an appealing practical model for more decentralized democratic decision-making.

WARSAW – Criticizing European Union institutions, and demanding that they be reformed, is a popular pastime. But as the EU’s unified front in the never-ending Brexit negotiations has made clear, European institutions are remarkably effective in managing political diversity. Perverse as it may sound to some, nation-states can learn from Europe in addressing their own democratic deficits.

Such shortcomings are especially apparent in Poland, where a highly centralized political system creates a pernicious winner-take-all dynamic. Because the party in power relies on a fleeting majority, it has a strong incentive to lock in its legislative achievements through constitutional overreach. This has left the electorate highly polarized and Poland mired in an ever-deeper political crisis, owing to a lack of consensus regarding basic institutions.

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