Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki gave a lecture on Monday at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. – Nothing will save the freedom of nations and their security than nation states. Other systems are utopian or illusory, he said, adding that “nation states in Europe cannot be replaced by anything else.” The head of the Polish government also referred to the war in Ukraine, the role of NATO and the European Union. – Perhaps we should reduce the areas in which the European Union has competence – he assessed.
Prime Minister on Monday Mateusz Morawiecki In 2000 he gave a lecture “Europe at a historical turning point” at the Ruprecht and Charles University in Heidelberg, Germany. ‘Europe is now at a historic turning point, even more serious than when communism was collapsing. Then the changes were peaceful, while today the whole world is threatened by Russian aggression,” he said.
– Today I would like to emphasize the role of the sovereignty of nation-states when it comes to maintaining the freedom of nations. The struggle of the nations in Central and Eastern Europe, which were slaves of the USSR – it was precisely the struggle for sovereignty, for freedom. We believed that our rights, our freedoms, could only be guaranteed if we were a sovereign nation-state again. We were right – this was seen again during social and economic crises, including during the pandemic COVID-19where we saw that effective nation states were crucial when it came to protecting the health of citizens, Morawiecki said.
As he assessed, the pandemic crisis and the previous economic crisis showed “the limit of supranational governance”. – It turns out that nothing else will save the freedom of nations and their security than nation states. Other systems are utopian or illusory. (…) Nation states in Europe cannot be replaced by anything else, said the Prime Minister.
Morawiecki on Germany: our countries are interdependent
In the lecture, Morawiecki touched on the history of Poland and Germany and their mutual relations. – We have been neighbors for over 11 centuries. We lived next to each other, we solved problems together – not only next to each other, but together. At a similar time, we founded the first universities – in Krakow in 1364 and here in Heidelberg (in 1386 – ed.). Many Poles came from Germany, had family contacts with Germans and vice versa – he said.
– Today, Poles and Germans cooperate closely in economic terms, which makes our countries dependent on each other. Poland is Germany’s fifth largest trading partner, and will soon be in fourth place. Russia, on the other hand, is only in 16th place, stressed the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister: We are building a modern army to defend not only ourselves
The head of the government assessed that if any success had been achieved in Europe in recent months, it was certainly “thanks to cooperation in the field of security”. – Transatlantic cooperation, in particular the North Atlantic Alliance, has all proved that NATO is the most effective defense alliance that has ever existed. Without the USA and without Poland, there would be no Ukraine today, stressed the Prime Minister.
Morawiecki assessed that NATO, soon to be joined by Sweden and Finland, will be of key importance for security in Europe, which is why the alliance must be further developed and strengthened. At the same time, NATO countries must build their own defense capabilities. “This is something Poland is currently doing,” he added.
– We are building a modern army to defend not only ourselves, but also to help our allies – said Morawiecki.
Prime Minister: Perhaps we should reduce the areas in which the European Union has competence
In his opinion, if we treat the work of building a strong EU seriously, “we should not focus on centralization but on enlargement.” – Those countries that are pro-European and propose turbo integration are also the countries that are the most skeptical – as it turns out – when it comes to enlargement policy and play a kind of political poker game. We should not talk about European values and at the same time divide Europeans into those who have the right to be in this alliance and those who do not have such a right and remain outside this alliance, Morawiecki said. – I often hear that European Union it needs reform if it is to expand. This is often camouflage. In fact, federalization, i.e. centralization, is being proposed, Morawiecki said.
The head of the Polish government assessed that we should avoid the activities of the European Union in those areas where the interests of member states may be divergent. – As part of the European Union, we should focus on those areas that are fundamental and common to us – he pointed out.
As he reminded, over the decades the powers of the European Commission have been increasing, which “many countries are now very critical of”. “Recently, it has accelerated even more,” noted the head of the Polish government.
– We should make a certain revision of those areas that we transferred to the level of the European Union. We should bring this back into balance. We need a better balance between the individual Member States and the European institutions. Perhaps we should reduce the areas in which the European Union has competences so that it would be easier to manage, to make it more democratic, even if there are more Member States in it – he said.
Morawiecki: We are obliged to oppose Russian fascism
During the lecture, the Prime Minister also spoke about the importance of Europe for Ukraine and the importance of the struggle of Ukrainians for Europe. He noted that this is a fight for common European values. As he added, Ukrainians are ready to risk their lives and did not surrender to the Russian army when it attacked them – for their own nation state and freedom. He stressed that they also fight every day for the freedom of Europe.
– Our future also depends on the outcome of this war, on how it ends. The defeat of Ukraine would mean the defeat of the West, the defeat of the whole free world. It would be a bigger failure than the one in Vietnam. After such a defeat, Russia would feel unpunished, it would strike other countries and the world would change – it would be a time of unpredictability, stressed Morawiecki.
According to the head of the government “we have a threat of escalation today” and to avoid it “we must stop feeding the beast”. The Prime Minister emphasized that the world is currently at a turning point.
The head of the Polish government noted that today Europe is witnessing crimes committed in the name of anti-national ideology. – Putin wants to eliminate all differences, to destroy national identities so that everything is concentrated in what he calls the Russian mire, the Russian empire. Russia continues to falsely accuse Ukrainians of fascism. Stalin said the same thing. (…) It must be clearly stated that a fascist is a person who wants to destroy other nations, who violates human rights and who wants to trample human dignity. He’s a fascist today Vladimir Putin and all those who help him in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” he said.
– As Europeans, we are obliged to oppose Russian fascism, this is what European identity is all about. (…) Ukrainians today remind us what Europe should be like. Every European has the right to security and freedom, democracy can be implemented at the local and national level, and if a given community is united by a common identity, Morawiecki added.
Main photo source: TVN24