Europa Plus Social Movement (E+TR). Europa Plus is a coalition of minor centre-left parties led by ‘Your Movement’, formerly known as Palikot’s Movement.
As its original name suggests, Your Movement was founded around Janusz Palikot, a former member of the Civic Platform known for his maverick viewpoints, harsh criticism of his fellow politicians and his eccentric behaviour.
Unusually for a Polish politician, Palikot has extremely socially libertarian views which he tends to highlight through his oddball behaviour. When a member of the PO, the heterosexual Palikot once appeared at a press conference with a t-shirt declaring himself to be ‘with the SLD’ on the front’ and gay (Palikot has a wife) on the back. When asked about it, Palikot stated he felt that the Civic Platform should back support minorities. After an alleged rape by police officers in Lublin, Palikot produced a gun and a dildo and called them ‘symbols of law and justice’, punning on the socially conservative Law and Justice party. He once declared a war against the infamously corrupt Polish Football Association by producing a butchered pig’s head, godfather style, and in 2012 he threatened to smoke a joint in parliament in order to get soft drugs legalised.
Palikot’s party burst onto the scene in 2011 with a third placed finish in that year’s general election. Its unusual anti-clerical, socially progressive views captured the mood of a Polish youth fed up with the social conservatism of political elites and prior generations.
The party counts amongst its national MPs Anna Grodzka, the world’s first transsexual MP (transgender MPs have previously been elected in New Zealand and Italy but Grodzka is the first to have gone under full gender reassignment). Grodzka received worldwide attention when Palikot nominated her to be a Deputy Speaker of the Polish Parliament, though she eventually failed in this bid.
On economics the party is rather vague, but seems to be broadly centrist.
It is also very pro-European. Europa Plus primarily seeks to bring together centre-left pro-European liberal and social democratic parties. The alliance has been victim to infighting and multiple small parties have left Palikot’s alliance.
One of the SLD’s MEPs has joined Your Movement and now serves as its Vice-President.
Europa Plus currently polls at just below the threshold for representation in the Euroean Parliament.
It is unclear whether Europa Plus would join the Socialists and Democrats, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, European Green Party, or allow individual parties to choose a party of their own choosing at this time.