Former mayor of Słupsk founds a new party

We don't want a Polish-Polish war any longer, we want mutual respect and dialogue, Robert Biedroń, former mayor of Słupsk in northern Poland, said on Sunday in Warsaw at the founding congress of his new party Wiosna (Spring).

Announcing the party's official foundation at the congress in Warsaw's Torwar Arena, Biedroń called the recent years "cold and bleak," and stressed that the period was marked by constant conflict with little concern for the common good. He added that Poland's "drab landscape" needed renewal in the form of a political spring.

"Instead of the common good, we had party politics. We need a spring to renew this drab landscape. (...) Let spring finally arrive in this cold country," Biedroń said.

Presenting Wiosna's programme, Biedroń stressed that its main focus is on "people, community, a state one can trust," and called the party a "force that will change the face of this country."

"This is the force that (...) will change the face of this country, we'll change it together. Because Poland needs to flourish, because spring is a time for cleaning, for sweeping the dust from the darkest corners," Biedroń said. He also presented thirteen bills Wiosna planned to file to the Sejm (lower house) if it entered into parliament after this year's elections. Among them is a draft foreseeing the closure of Poland's coalmines until 2035.

Wiosna also plans to file an act against domestic violence, Biedroń said.

Recalling the recent assassination of Gdańsk, northern Poland Mayor Paweł Adamowicz, Biedroń called the incident "a great tragedy" which "halted the lives of many Poles." Biedroń stressed that in the aftermath of Adamowicz's death Poles today "needed energy more than ever before."

Biedroń underscored the importance of community as a means to end internal conflict, and stressed that Poles needed empathy in place of "mounting hostility".

The Sunday congress was one of the first political events inaugurating the Wiosna party's election campaign to the European Parliament.

On Monday, Biedroń will launch a "Spring tour" of Poland, during which he is planned to visit the country's 13 biggest cities. The tour will end by March 4, the party's EP election lists will be announced in mid-March.

The EP elections will be held in late May.