Politics of Poland’s self-degradation

Marek Jurek

Before the last session of the European Council I again appealed to the Prime Minister Donald Tusk to speak at the governmental summit about the immediate full subsidies for Polish farmers. Since the agenda of the EU summit included activities concerning economic stability and supporting employment in the European countries. Looking at these subjects one was actually forced to speak about the means for the Polish economy within the Common Agricultural Policy because they come from our contributions, within the politics for which we let the principles and scale of the Polish agricultural production be controlled. It makes no sense when Poland’s opponents referred to the pre-accessional consent of the Polish government to limit the subsidies. The principles that had been binding then were commonly questioned. It was the Germans that questioned them most firmly when they demanded more votes within the European Council. Their demands were accepted firstly in the European Constitution and then in the Treaty of Lisbon. Since the Germans demanded more votes why cannot our authorities demand the same share in the benefits of the Common Agricultural Policy? Demanding the same rights that others are entitled to, especially considering the compensation for Poland occupying a lower position in the EU, is a question of realism and national dignity. And full direct subsidies are not only needed for farmers but also for the whole economy today. The protection of the living standard of Polish people, the protection and deepening of the internal market (when our export is experiencing increased difficulties) are the fundamental directions to struggle against the crisis. Unfortunately, the issue of full subsidies for Polish farmers has been put off because of the efforts to gain prestigious positions in the EU. One can only define that as trading the national interests and Poles’ rights. The Irish have given us a lesson of effectiveness. Ireland rejected the Treaty of Lisbon. Now the whole European Council discusses how to encourage the Irish society to accept it. The summit of governments ensured the Irish that nobody would question the Irish legal protection of life, lower taxes and military neutrality. Dublin need not demand them since it is the European Union that ensures the homeland of St Patrick of their inviolability of these principles. Ireland has shown again that no European country has not lost its ability to say ‘no’ in the EU. Neither Great Britain – rejecting the agricultural contribution, nor Denmark – rejecting Maastricht, nor France – rejecting Lisbon. Poland could have reached this position at a lower cost. Our government could have indicated two years ago that they signed the treaty despite their reservations concerning its contents, only for the good of collaboration with other European governments. And they should not have hurried to begin the process of ratification, at least (I wrote about that in January 2008) until the stands of Ireland, the Czech Republic and Great Britain were clear. Today we could – using the effective Irish veto – have raised the Polish reservations again and demanded them to be considered in the EU politics. But then, in the autumn of 2007, the government of Jaroslaw Kaczynski treated Poland to the pre-term elections and the Polish reason of state was submitted to the election propaganda of success.

"Niedziela" 27/2009

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl