Analysis. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the idea has been that this major geopolitical shock has helped to strengthen the European Union (EU), NATO and the transatlantic partnership. These three pillars of the Western world, which in recent years have multiplied the signs of weakness, have been consolidated by their firm and united responses to the Russian threat. But this renewal of form may well have taken place, for want of vigilance, to the detriment of the common ground of the values which are supposed to weld the West.
Six years later to launch an unprecedented “safeguard of the rule of law” procedure against the Polish Conservative national government of the PiS (Law and Justice), the European Commission is preparing to release € 36 billion from the post-Covid stimulus plan due to Warsaw. These funds had been withheld for almost a year due to the refusal of the PiS, chaired by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, to comply with the requirements of the Court of Justice of the European Union to uphold the rule of law.
However, the Polish Democrats are unanimous: despite the vote on a law that apparently only wants to go in line with the Commission’s requirements, none of the three conditions initially set by Brussels are met. As a result of laborious negotiations, the agreement reached between the Polish government and the European executive is described as “Harmful compromise” by the defenders of liberal democracy. According to them, none of the measures voted on will improve the rule of law in the country, and the approval of these façade solutions could set a dangerous precedent.
However, for the first time, the European Commission had an effective tool to put Warsaw on the wall and tackle the problems that undermine Polish democracy. This missed opportunity leaves a bitter taste. The Commission has succumbed to the current geopolitical pressure: with the war in Ukraine, Poland has gone from being a European pariah to an indispensable partner, playing a key role in the issue of arms deliveries to Kiev. and hosted nearly 2.5 million refugees.
If the war has redefined the country’s coat of arms and strengthened its political position, the nature of the PiS power, kleptocratic and undemocratic, has not changed at all.
The country, instructed by its tumultuous history, can also claim a visionary role: it turns out that the populist and reactionary party that runs it has shown greater realism towards Russia than most political forces. dominating old Europe. The visits of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Jaroslaw Kaczynski to Kiev on March 16, followed by President Andrzej Duda’s historic speech to the Ukrainian Parliament on May 22, had a strong symbolic significance, rehabilitating the country in its role as regional leader.
You have 50.59% of this article left to read. The suite is reserved for subscribers.