Former President of the Republic of Poland, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, commented on the attitude of the Polish authorities towards the European Union in Friday’s “Fakty po Faktach”. As he said, the way the Law and Justice thinks about the EU is “archaic”. – The only thing I hear from the PiS camp is that the Union should withdraw, return to the formula of sovereign states covered by a certain economic community. It cannot be done anymore – said the former president.
– Poland joined the European Union on the basis of the treaties in force, they are subject to discussion, they can be changed, they certainly require reflection, but they bind us – former president Aleksander Kwasniewski said in “Faktach po Faktach”. – Today, the problem of the Polish authorities is that in these treaties there are statements that do not fit from the point of view of PiS’s internal policy, concerning, for example, the rule of law or environmental protection – he added.
Kwasniewski noted that the European Union is evolving, “it was different at the beginning, it was different in 2003, different in terms of the challenges and instruments”. He stressed that the EU has endured numerous crises, including the financial crisis of 2008, and emerged from them “smarter and a little stronger”.
Kwaśniewski: the Polish voice in the EU is archaic
– The only thing I hear from the PiS camp is that the Union should withdraw, return to the formula of sovereign states covered by a certain economic community. It cannot be done anymore, the former president said. He pointed out that “we are after two decades of the 21st century, we have new international competition”. – The Chinese want to be number one, the Americans want to remain number one, the question is where the European Union wants to be – said Kwasniewski.
As the former president said, “the voice of Poles in the European Union is an attempt to apply models or patterns that are no longer adequate”. – At the same time, the primacy of PiS thinking about the European Union is what we want to do here at home. The Union is good when it gives us money and when the European court approves our proposals. The EU is bad when it accepts Czech requests, for example in the case of Turow, or when there are treaty requirements regarding the rule of law. To say that this is hypocrisy is not to say much, assessed Kwasniewski.
As the guest of “Fakty po Faktach” stated, “PiS’s thinking about the European Union is archaic thinking”. – In my opinion, also dangerous, because it threatens to permanently marginalize Poland in this great structure, which should play a significant role in the future of the world – said Kwasniewski. He added that “a divided Union that will deal with its own egoisms has no chance” in competing with China, Russia or the United States on the international arena.
Kwaśniewski: PiS’s policy directs us to the EU’s periphery
Kwaśniewski also referred to the report presented in the Sejm by Patryk JakiAccording to which Poland lost 535 billion zlotys during the period of membership in the European Union (in the years 2004-2020).
– Patryk Jaki is wrong in every respect. This is mere manipulation. Jak does not want to admit that he is against the European Union, that he takes a lot of money from the Union, but with disgust. He does not want to state that his group is strongly anti-European, and therefore opposed to the Polish raison d’état, said Kwasniewski.
“There are no calculations that would confirm any part of Mr. Jakiego’s mathematical whims,” he said. He argued that Poland benefits from EU membership in the financial, civilization, political, security and educational dimensions. – If Poland only wanted to take advantage of this opportunity, today it would be one of the most important countries in the European Union, we had documents for it – said the former president. According to him, the current PiS policy “marginalizes us, directs us to the EU periphery.” – I hope not outside the Union – he added.
According to Kwasniewski, “Jakiego’s voice is dangerous”. “It’s relatively easy for people to confuse people, especially when it comes to money,” he noted.
When asked what the consequences of anti-EU sentiment in the ruling party, Kwasniewski assessed that “the social ground for Brexit was better than for Poland than for Poland”. He pointed out that 80 percent of Poles are in favor of Poland’s membership in the European Union.
– The Polish paradox is that Poles are for the Union, and the ruling party with a majority in parliament is half Eurosceptic and half anti-European, he said. He assessed that Jarosław Kaczyński is aware of this, hence the PiS resolution “on Poland’s membership of the European Union and the sovereignty of the Republic of Poland”. – The issue of the attitude towards the European Union, and the negative one in particular, may be the greatest electoral risk for PiS, because Poles want to stay in the EU – argued Kwasniewski.
Former president on the license for TVN24
Kwaśniewski also commented on the decision of the National Broadcasting Council, Fr. extension of the license for TVN24.
– Don’t be reassured or naive. It is not even about the resolution of the National Council, but about the way of thinking of the ruling camp. TVN is an obstacle for them, an enemy – said the former president.
In his opinion, “this battle will continue”. – It will take many forms. I would be careful but absolutely not panic. The more so as the fight for the license confirms how much support you have from the audience, how much you need public opinion, how much the Poles need truth, freedom of speech, open and unhindered discussion. These are the assets that remain in effect, he said.
Kwaśniewski: Angela Merkel’s 16 years is an era
Parliamentary elections will be held in Germany on Sunday. Germany will decide who will take up the chancellor’s office and replace Angela Merkel, who headed the German government for four terms.
– Angela Merkel’s 16 years is an era. From the Polish perspective, he was a very good German leader. I am aside from the issue of the Nord Stream here. These 16 years should be assessed as a significant sensitivity of Merkel in Polish matters. She had understanding and a certain sentiment for us – said Kwasniewski.
As the former president assessed, the next German chancellor will probably continue Merkel’s policy towards Warsaw.