Poland has its back to the wall over sovereignty

German pressure to remove member states’ veto power is a threat to Polish sovereignty, argues Jacek Karnowski, editor-in-chief of Poland’s Sieci newspaper

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Jacek Karnowski
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock answers questions from the audience after delivering a keynote speech at the annual Portuguese Ambassadors' Conference in Lisbon, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

A few days ago, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, speaking in Lisbon, repeated the fundamental planks of the “Scholz Plan,” which seeks the removal of the EU member states’ veto so that all decisions are taken by a qualified majority.

Such a transformation would effectively mean the EU would become a Franco-German empire, claimed Jacek Karnowski, the editor-in-chief of Poland’s Sieci newspaper.

Baerbock argued that such decision-making would be fairer and would mean that “we would be capable of speedy and effective action.” However, she did not specify the “we” to whom she was referring, Karnowski said, highlighting her lecturing tone manifested by phrases such as, “We cannot allow…”

The Polish journalist called the German proposal “a betrayal of the promise that accompanied Polish accession to the European Union, a promise that the principle of equality between member states would be preserved.”

Now the Germans are indicating that this pledge of equality is no longer possible, he added.

“It’s also curious what Baerbock is thinking of when she says that the abolition of the veto will lead to more just outcomes. Poland has not noticed very many outcomes that are fair or just even when it still has the veto, so goodness only knows how many we would have if the veto disappeared!” Karnowski wrote.

He said it looks as though Germany is preparing to make its proposal official, adding that “Poland fears it will be done in tandem with Ukrainian membership of the EU to make opposition to it very hard for Poles. “

Hard times are upon us, and we will be tested, Karnowski warned, adding that Polish relations with the EU are already tense and could become incendiary.

“We may feel that the current dispute over the rule of law is serious, but it could be a trifle when we find ourselves with our backs to the wall over Poland’s independence,” he wrote.

There is only one thing that can save us, Karnowski claimed — “a strong, united government of patriots being reelected in the autumn of this year.”

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