There is a lot of discussion regarding a potential change of Poland’s status in Europe due to the war in Ukraine. The heroic defense against the Russian invasion in Ukraine, and the U.S. involvement, has changed the security environment in the entirety of Central and Eastern Europe.
Poland’s importance in recent months has definitely increased, and this fact is starting to get the attention of some people in Paris and Berlin. The developments in Poland that could make it a key partner for European security in the future are, however, just a part of the challenge ahead of it. Increased capabilities are one thing, but building political credibility is another.
Nobody needs to be convinced of how much Moscow worked for the past couple years to undermine Poland’s credibility in Europe. For a long time, a constant element of the Kremlin’s European policy was to corrupt Western politics and neutralize Poland’s.
But building the political credibility of Poland as a partner and ally is mainly its own task and responsibility. Involvement in Ukraine’s independent future could prompt the U.S. to consider that creating a stable security environment in Europe can only be possible if the current balance of power between France, Germany, and Poland changes in favor of the last.
For that, Poland must build not only its potential but also its credibility.
Whether we like it or not, Poland must build credibility in the EU, including how it is able to deal with problems and differences of interest that separate Poland from Paris, Berlin, and Brussels.
Those conflicts can also have a great impact on our internal politics, for example, potentially influencing the outcome of parliamentary or presidential elections. The border between European and internal politics is getting harder and harder to see. In those internal, sometimes also personal games over our policy regarding France, Germany, or EU institutions, we cannot forget, that there is an additional, higher stake.
And what’s at stake is our credibility as a partner of the U.S. in building a stable security environment in Europe.