For the first time since 1989, a single political party has garnered enough votes to form an absolute parliamentary majority in Poland. With no need to form a coalition, the conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) will seek to make its own mark on national politics as Poland transitions away from the centrist Civic Platform, which has led the country’s coalition government since 2007.

For the first time since 1989, a single political party has garnered enough votes to form an absolute parliamentary majority in Poland. With no need to form a coalition, the conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) will seek to make its own mark on national politics as Poland transitions away from the centrist Civic Platform, which has led the country’s coalition government since 2007.

Following the October 25 elections, Poland’s new government was officially sworn into office on November 16. Led by Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, the cabinet includes several familiar faces from the administration of Lech Kaczynski, who served as president from 2005 until 2010, until he died in a plane crash over Russia. Kaczynski’s twin brother, the former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, is the leader of Law and Justice and is largely seen as the mastermind behind its recent electoral victory, as well as the election of Andrzej Duda to the presidency in May.

Szydlo, the new Prime Minister, has been in Parliament since 2005, but had not held an executive post until now and is a relative newcomer to the national political scene. As observers speculate about the future course of her government, therefore, attention has focused on the appointment of several former officials who are now returning to power.

Among the more controversial cabinet picks is Antoni Macierewiz, the new defense minister. Macierewicz ran Poland’s intelligence agencies in 2006-2007, and courted controversy for his outspoken nationalism and attempts to purge Poland’s security agencies of alleged Communist influences. Mariusz Kaminski, the new coordinator of special services, has also come under scrutiny; Kaminski was convicted of abuse of power in 2007 when he ran the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau, though he has now been pardoned by President Duda.

Other cabinet members are seen as moderate and experienced figures. The new economic minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, and new finance minister, Pavel Szalamacha, are widely perceived as pragmatic businessmen whose appointments are meant to quell concerns from critics that the party’s economic policy will damage the state’s budget. Foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski is a former deputy foreign minister well-known for his pro-American stance and hostile attitude toward Russia.

So far, the party’s agenda has defied easy categorization. Law and Justice’s platform combines elements of social conservatism with economic populism. The party’s leaders frequently invoke traditional Polish Catholic values, and they have a strong support base among older Polish Catholics, especially in rural areas. At the same time, Law and Justice has defied conservative dogma by advocating for a larger state role in the economy. Among other proposals, the party has promised to lower the retirement age, increase welfare spending and levy new taxes on supermarkets and banks. Such proposals have widened the party’s appeal beyond its traditional base, reaching young urban voters and those who feel economically marginalized under the current system.

In terms of foreign policy, the new government has a similarly complicated position. While Law and Justice is broadly Euroskeptic, the party is also adamantly pro-American and pro-NATO. The new Poland is likely to urge a harsher line against Russia and support the expansion of NATO, while proving a difficult partner on the issues of refugees and energy policy.

These fault lines are already becoming clear in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, which have renewed fears of terrorists entering Europe under the cover of refugee flows. The day after the attacks, Poland’s minister for European affairs Konrad Szymanski suggested that Poland would not fulfill the European Council’s refugee relocation plan, and would assert full control over its borders. Waszczykowski, for his part, suggested that Syrian refugees should form an army and return to “liberate” their homeland, rather than remaining in Europe. While Szydlo’s rhetoric on the issue has been more tempered, the new Polish government is clearly signaling that it will take a harder line on the refugee issue than its predecessor.

Russia represents another area of potential conflict between Poland and EU leaders. With France now prioritizing the fight against ISIS in the Middle East, there has been talk of détente between Russia and the West and greater cooperation with Vladimir Putin, who has been leading airstrikes against ISIS positions in Syria. The new Polish leadership, however, remains highly suspicious of Russia, and will likely join the U.S. in resisting any rapprochement with Moscow.

All told; however, these changes represent subtle adjustments to Polish policy, not tectonic shifts. Law and Justice was largely elected because of its domestic economic appeal, not because of its foreign policy. As Szydlo and her team take over the reins of government, Polish voters, and the world, will be watching to see if the party’s mandate to govern will translate into tangible results.