‘The moment we’ve been waiting years for’ — New Hope leader says public is turning against Brussels

One of the Confederation alliance leaders, Sławomir Mentzen, during his pre-election meeting. (Source: Twitter@SlawomirMentzen)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
4 Min Read

Sławomir Mentzen, the president of Poland’s New Hope party and a key figure in the Confederation coalition, says that a critical turning point in public perception towards the European Union is approaching, with growing disenchantment fueled by EU policies that directly impact ordinary people.

In an interview with the conservative news outlet dorzeczy.pl, Mentzen voiced a potent critique against the European Union’s current trajectory, particularly lambasting the Green Deal for its adverse effects on the average citizen.

“People are finally seeing the truth. This is the moment we’ve been waiting years for,” Mentzen stated, expressing a sentiment of vindication.

The Polish politician accused the EU of shifting its regulatory focus from businesses to individuals, which has led to widespread dissatisfaction. “For years, various EU regulations primarily targeted companies. Now, the European Union has taken aim at ordinary people,” he explained. This shift has notably manifested in agricultural protests across Europe, signaling a critical backlash against the EU’s environmental and regulatory strategies.

Mentzen also criticized President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen for her recent remarks that lumped the Confederation with other right-wing parties, accusing them of seeking to “destroy our Europe and trample on our values.” He retorted that the Confederation’s opposition to the Green Deal and further EU integration is a stand against the bloc’s “terrible bureaucracy” and not against European values per se.

He noted the irony in von der Leyen’s criticism of the Confederation as a threat to the EU, while overlooking the Law and Justice (PiS) party, which is currently distancing itself from past support for EU policies. He recalled that PiS’s votes were crucial for von der Leyen’s election as Commission president, highlighting PiS’s Agricultural Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski’s endorsement of the Green Deal as aligned with PiS policy, and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s agreement to the “Fit for 55” package.

According to Mentzen, despite PiS’s recent attempts to appear opposed to EU policies, their historical support for such initiatives contradicts their current stance, making von der Leyen’s focus on the Confederation, rather than PiS, unsurprising to him.

Addressing the potential geopolitical consequences of EU policies, Mentzen expressed concern over speculation regarding Poland’s involvement in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

He opposed the notion of Polish military engagement, citing the inadequate state of Poland’s armed forces and the country’s unpreparedness for war. “The American desire to escalate the war in Ukraine aims to continue weakening Russia. It seems there’s a plan to replace Ukrainians with Poles on the battlefield,” Mentzen speculated, stressing the impracticality and danger of such a strategy for Poland.

Looking forward to the upcoming elections in Poland, both local and European, Mentzen holds a cautious optimism for the New Hope party’s chances. Reflecting on past disappointments, he aspires for a significant presence in the European Parliament that could potentially challenge the prevailing EU policies.

“After the disappointing results in last year’s parliamentary elections, we’ve learned our lessons. I hope that in the European elections, we will achieve a decisively better result,” Mentzen concluded, signaling a strategic focus on harnessing growing public discontent with the EU.

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