Ruling party MEP Witold Waszczykowski, a former foreign minister, has called for the Polish government to change its tactics with the European Union.
“It’s time to defend ourselves. Up until now, under Prime Minister Morawiecki, we have been seeking compromises and offering concessions. These have involved agreeing to over a 100 ‘milestones,’ but that has proved ineffective,” he told portal wPolityce.pl.
Waszczykowski proposes a return to the tactics he claims were deployed by the previous prime minister, Beata Szydło, which were designed to reject the commission’s right to interfere in Poland’s judicial reforms.
Waszczykowski was also asked about the recent remarks of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at Princeton University where she said that the European Commission has tools to deal with Italy if the people elect the “wrong” government, adding that the EU is already using the same tools on Poland and Hungary. Waszczykowski responded by labeling her threat an “illegal intervention in the electoral process in a democratic state.”
He noted that European commissioners should be neutral and not a spokesman for any country or party. Waszczykowski said that von der Leyen has broken that principle in favor of her come country, Germany, which is working towards removing Poland’s conservative government; he also cited her adherence to a leftist-liberal ideology
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According to Waszczykowski, the EU is not learning any lessons from experience, such as the response to the financial crisis in 2009 or Brexit, when Donald Tusk’s interventions as president of the European Council alienated the British. He added that the response to the pandemic, the energy crisis, and the Ukraine war are evidence of the European Commission’s failure and unwillingness to listen to Poland.
Poland’s foreign minister doubts whether the commission will be able to discipline Italy, a founding member of the EU and net payer into the EU.
Asked whether von der Leyen could face a no-confidence vote in the European Parliament, Waszczykowski doubts whether the votes for this would be there, but he suggests that the liberal-left majority in the European Union is successfully blackmailing von der Leyen with such a motion so that she maintains the European Commission’s hostile stance towards Poland and Hungary.
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Waszczykowski is convinced that the European Commission is not ready to accept any compromise over judicial reform. That compromise was the legislation proposed by President Andrzej Duda and tactically accepted by the commission.
He believes Jarosław Kaczyński is right to have called for no more compromises with the European Commission and for Poland to simply demand the payment of the EU Recovery Fund allocation it is owed.
Poland, he feels, must reject the ideological attempts by EU institutions to intervene in energy, environmental, social, educational, and cultural policies in Poland.
“We must defend ourselves very firmly and, where possible, use the veto and withdraw from certain EU programs,” he said.