The initiative, billed as the European Coalition, was announced in Warsaw by Grzegorz Schetyna, leader of the country’s largest opposition party, the Civic Platform (PO).
Schetyna, a former foreign minister, said that opposition groups needed to join forces to ensure a “good and worthy representation” for Poland in the next European Parliament and to prevent the country from “gravitating eastward."
The joint declaration signed by the former leaders said that May’s elections to the European Parliament were coming at a crucial juncture for Poland, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
"We call on responsible political forces and circles, local governments and civic communities to come up with a single election ticket the aim of which would be to restore a strong position for Poland in the European Union," the declaration said, as quoted by the news agency.
The former leaders appealed for establishing a broad-based “European coalition” to prevent Poland from “being taken out of the EU,” IAR reported.
The country's ruling conservatives have repeatedly dismissed opposition claims that they aim to take Poland out of the European Union.
The group supporting the opposition declaration comprised former Prime Ministers Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, Leszek Miller, Ewa Kopacz, Jerzy Buzek, Marek Belka, Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz and Hanna Suchocka, alongside former Foreign Ministers Adam Daniel Rotfeld and Radosław Sikorski, in addition to Schetyna, the IAR news agency reported.
Poland’s political parties are gearing up for an electoral marathon, with European elections scheduled for May and a national parliamentary ballot due in the autumn, followed by a presidential vote in 2020.
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union, of which Poland has been a member since 2004.
Poles will elect 52 Eurodeputies when they go to the ballot box on May 26, the PAP state news agency reported.