The current Polish government is leading increasingly intolerant policies towards sexual minorities. Recently officials of the government parties called for the banning of the Warsaw gay parade. Moreover, the Polish Minister of Education - Roman Giertych, (coming from radical right wing populist party - League of Polish Families) has dismissed director of Central Teachers Training Centre for publishing in Polish the Compass - Council of Europe manual on human rights education with young people. Minister claimed in public that he couldn’t accept that the Polish government spends money on Compass manual “promoting gay and lesbian behaviours”.
The reaction from the European Union was rather mild in comparison to the treatment of the Austrian extreme right-winger Heider. Silence coming from the other EU member states makes one wander up to what extent historical prejudices, and not the honest assessment of the nature of one’s politics, play the role in deciding on the treatment of right-wing populist parties.
More importantly, the case of Poland, and the mild reaction of other member states, directly compromise the EU enlargement and foreign policy. How can the EU pretend to demand from the hopeful candidates in Turkey and South Eastern Europe to respect its human rights standards when some of its own Member States (Poland) lag behind in this respect? Possibly, we are witnessing a certain shift in the lowest common denominator in the EU human rights standards?