“We are facing a situation of a possible, almost complete loss of our independence because this is how the European system works, and the changes that are planned will make thing even more difficult for us. All decisions will be made over our heads, and our role will only be to accept them,” says Prof. Ryszard Legutko, PiS MEP, in the context of the ongoing pressure of the European Commission on Polish local governments to withdraw from resolutions that were passed protecting the family.
wPolityce.pl: The European Commission is placing pressure on local governments in Poland. Problem areas include, among others, the Małopolska region, whose funds are being withheld, demanding that the resolutions protecting the family be withdrawn. How to deal with such pressures from the European Commission, considering that they have no legal basis?
Prof. Ryszard Legutko: Unfortunately, we will have to make decisions one way or the other. Either we will just be “spitting in the wind” because, as you rightly said, it is complete lawlessness; we cannot even go to court or settle the matter legally because there is lawlessness in all European institutions. Or we say: we will not allow ourselves to be humiliated because they want to humiliate those who adopted this resolution. It’s humiliating that we cannot even defend the family because it is punishable – a family based on a union between a woman and a man.
As we know, a German court sentenced Father Prof. Oko to a fine, and he is facing imprisonment. We deal with such a reality, with a system that wants to humiliate Poland and the Poles, and if we want to state in our old tradition – it wants to take our soul away. Like the Soviet system. So we have to decide what to do. The lines of this conflict must be very clearly defined.
Only that if we give in and compromise, it will cause an avalanche of further extortion attempts.
Yes. We still have to deal with the so-called principle of conditionality, i.e., because of accusations against Poland, the money that is to go to post-COVID reconstruction may be withheld. This is also absolutely outrageous, but the European Parliament, for example, very brutally demands that we do it so that Poland can start collecting funds. The case is to go to the European Court of Justice, but in observing the EU’s rulings, I would not bet half a penny that it would be settled fairly. We are in a tough situation because we operate in a system where the rules do not apply, while ideology and the desire to impose one’s will brutally – is raging. Here you have to develop a strategy because you can give way somewhere, but giving way should not become a strategy towards the EU.
Would you please not ask me how these particular local governments should proceed. They should decide for themselves. However, I would not give in so easily. This can be explained to the voters. You can also mobilize some Poles – let them know what they are dealing with. Often too many Poles still cling to the belief that the EU is a gentlemen’s club of civilized people. That’s not true. As I say, ideology is raging, and lawlessness and the brutal imposition of the will of others are spreading wider. Perhaps this is an occasion to mobilize some Poles and explain what it’s all about.
We seem to be entering into a game where our “to be or not to be” is at stake.
Yes. We are faced with a possible almost complete loss of our independence because this is how the European system works, and the planned changes will make it even worse. All decisions will be made over our heads, and our role will only be to support them as in the past when the Polish government supported everything.
The situation has worsened because by expanding this operational principle, this system will be so much strengthened that we won’t be able to do anything. Therefore, we are actually in danger of losing our independence, and I am quite serious about it.
The problem with Poland is that half of the Poles, maybe a little less, perhaps a little more, support this loss of independence – this is an old tradition of “putting themselves under the protection” of some strong, stronger protector: the king of Prussia, the empress of Russia or Napoleon – and a subsequent complete loss of sovereignty. However, there is the other Poland that defends this independence and which must get stronger. If, for example, the majority system in the EU passes, all decisions in the Council will be taken by the majority; this is practically the end. We won’t be able to do anything without the consent of strong entities, without the permission of the EU institutions and the strongest states. This is how it works in practice. And let no one talk about the fact that you can negotiate a majority to oppose because you cannot negotiate such a majority in the current balance of power, as it is. The case is deadly serious.
Thank you for the conversation.