Timmermans has become the most influential EU commissar, mostly due to the conflict with Poland. Many of his colleagues see him as “a hero of law and order. An adamant man.” A European Commission official claimed that he had “beaten even Juncker and Selmayr”.
When the conflict between the EU and Poland had begun, no one expected Timmermans to come out of it strengthened. Many believed that Jean-Claude Juncker had simply put him up front so that he himself didn’t have to deal with the matter. Many expected Warsaw to react like Hungary, to slowly but surely concede over time. Warsaw’s stance at not seeing Timmermans as a partner, despite the man’s efforts, had forced Brussels to reassess its position. No-one expected Timmermans’ diligence in the matter.
Although Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki and Juncker tried and struggled to find a middle-ground, Timmermans always undermined the offers made by Morawiecki
Despite Juncker wanting to sweep the issue of the rule of law in Poland under the rug many times, Timmermans always stood his ground that the concessions from Poland were not enough.
Although Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki and Juncker tried and struggled to find a middle-ground, Timmermans always undermined the offers made by Morawiecki. Juncker had to eventually accept Timmermans’ lawsuit against Poland sent to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) concerning Poland’s Supreme Court and judiciary reforms.
Timmermans’ actions are also well received in Holland, which still sees the need to “Europize” the “barbarians from the East.”
Timmermans’ actions are also well received in Holland, which still sees the need to “Europize” the “barbarians from the East.” Many in Holland still regard Poles through stereotypes and their media underline the negative situations in which Polish citizens in the Netherlands find themselves. Therefore, Timmermans as the defender of European values may find much success in his home country.
This is how Timmermans rose from being an average EU commissar to a superstar of the European Commission and “the champion of Europizing Eastern Europe” among Western politicians.