PAT BUCHANAN: Can Poland be Poland – and stay in the EU? | Chroniclers
This was the call of the American conservatives four decades ago when the solidarity movement of union leader Lech Walesa formed in the port city of Gdansk to demand their release from the communist system imposed on Poland by the Soviet Union after World War II.
A decade later, Poland freed itself from the Soviet bloc and the Warsaw Pact, and then joined the European Union and NATO.
The question that arises today also concerns questions of Polish identity and independence.
More precisely, can Poland be Poland – and still remain in the EU?
In recent years, the ruling Law and Justice Party has revised its government structures. The judiciary was subordinated, placed under more centralized supervision and control, and a disciplinary chamber was created with the power to remove judges.
Such action, according to the European Commission in Brussels, violates fundamental EU law, which applies to all member states and trumps national law.
Brussels wants the chamber to be abolished.
Moreover, on issues such as homosexuality, abortion and the media, the Polish government has taken positions more consistent with its Catholic traditions than with the social agenda of a secularized Europe.
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The same goes for the Hungary of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Poland and Hungary are ostracized as “illiberal democracies”.
At a rally of tens of thousands in Budapest on Saturday, Orban told his supporters that Washington, the EU in Brussels and billionaire George Soros are using their money, media and networks to bring the opposition to power. of the Hungarian left in the parliamentary elections next April.
“But what matters,” said a provocative Orban, “is not what they want in Brussels, Washington and the media, which are run from abroad. It will be the Hungarians who will decide their own. own fate.
“Our strength lies in our unity … We believe in the same values: family, nation and a strong and independent Hungary.”
In this socio-cultural-moral confrontation inside the EU, the foreigner Vladimir Poutine sided with the traditionalists and the nationalists in the countries where Christianity is opposed to secularism.
Over the weekend, Moscow posted clips of Putin’s meteoric attack on a waking West at last week’s Valdai Discussion Club rally in Sochi:
“We are surprised to see things happening in countries that see themselves as standard bearers of progress,” Putin said. “The fight for equality and against discrimination turns into aggressive dogmatism bordering on absurdity.
“Opposing racism is a necessary and noble thing, but the new ‘culture of abolition’ is turning into ‘reverse discrimination’ … Here in Russia, the absolute majority of our citizens do not care about the color of a person’s skin.
“People who dare to say that men and women still exist as a biological fact are almost ostracized … not to mention the simply monstrous fact that children today learn from a young age than a boy. can easily become a girl and vice versa.
“Let’s call a spade a spade: it just borders on crimes against humanity under the banner of progress.”
In the clash between Poland and the EU, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a solution to be found acceptable to both, rather than engaging in a long and bitter battle that leaves one party victorious and the other separate.
Yet today Poland is threatened with economic sanctions, including a possible withholding of annual EU allocations and money earmarked for EU countries to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to these threats, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki accuses the EU of “blackmailing” Poland and “pointing a gun at our temple”.
“If you want to make Europe a nationless superstate,” says Morawiecki, “first get the consent of all European countries and companies for this”.
EU membership is popular in Poland, and the government has not threatened a walkout, a “Polexit” like the “Brexit” that the British Conservatives voted in 2016 and implemented.
However, Brussels fears that the successful Polish challenge to its demands will lead other EU countries to make demands, and the great project of creating a European superstate, a single Europe whose member countries see each other. grant limited rights similar to those of America’s 50 states. Union, could crumble and fall apart.
National governments receive from EU membership not only the benefits of open markets, free trade and travel between countries, but also, for countries like Poland and others. Eastern and Southern Europe, an annual transfer of wealth from the EU.
The grip the EU has on its members is money. Brussels can cut funds transferred to Poland each year, as well as funds voted to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, together a good chunk of Poland’s GDP.
The questions raised by the rebellious Poles are fundamental: which takes precedence, when they come into conflict, the Constitution and the Polish laws, or the laws of the European Union?
Conflict seems inevitable, and the Poles will ultimately have to decide whether their country and their constitution transcend EU law, or the reverse is now true.