People in Kraków, Poland. Editorial credit: brunocoelho /


Poland’s democratic institutions took root at the start of its transition from communist rule in 1989. Rapid economic growth and other societal changes have benefited some segments of the population more than others, contributing to a deep divide between liberal, pro-European parties and those purporting to defend national interests and “traditional” Polish Catholic values. Since taking power in late 2015, the populist, socially conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party has enacted numerous measures that increase political influence over state institutions and threaten to reverse Poland’s democratic progress. Recent years have seen an increase in nationalist and homophobic rhetoric.

FIW 2021 crop 2 cover photo

Freedom in the World — Poland Country Report

Poland is rated Free in Freedom in the World, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.

Ukraine photograph photo auction by anastasiia lukavska

Nations in Transit — Poland Country Report

Categorized as a Semi-Consolidated Democracy, Poland receives a Democracy Percentage of 60 out of 100 in Nations in Transit 2021 report.