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Jarosław Kaczyński speech of May 2, 2016.



Today we celebrate Flag Day. It is good that we have established this ceremony. It is good, that we strengthen our respect and foster our affection, as well as often restore respect and commitment to our national colors. The white-and-red banner is the symbol of our country, the symbol prescribed in our Constitution. Symbols build unity, create unity, but at the same time symbols are there to remind us and realize that between the public domain, i.e. the national domain and the value domain, there is a direct relationship. This is the fundamental truth.

A country is not only an organization covering a given territory. The state is and should be a moral quality. We have addressed this for a long time, for over twenty years. Now, I will repeat it again. This moral quality, expressed by other means, determines the legitimacy of the state. One can talk about two movements legitimizing Poland’s identity – aside from the one, which is very important in a democracy, and which in any case we do not undermine, and that is the formal, legal formation. So the formal one arises from election procedures, law-making procedures, i.e. everything in a democracy which is very, very important and which in no way we would question. But there are also movements that go deeper than state building. You can talk about two such movements. The first is of a historical and moral nature. It has roots in the history, tradition, language, culture, cultural codes, a common understanding and understanding of meaning. This legitimacy is immensely important, relating to public awareness, but if you look at Poland, Polish tradition, it also refers to some very specific demands, translating into concrete demands. It is the demand for freedom, equality and justice. The legitimacy of the second kind, which can be called pragmatic, refers to everything that the state has to provide to the citizens. You can say what the state does to fulfil the needs of citizens, and how it serves the community.

You can describe these things in different ways. But I think the most appropriate and the most accurate here is a reference to the issue of a very broad understanding of security. Both the history of various countries, as well as the history of their creation as a historical phenomenon directs us to this conclusion. Today, when it comes to modern states, this legitimacy breaks down to at least five types. These include external security, internal security, in the modern state, especially social security, as well as commercial and economic security. Finally, the security that every state must provide to its citizens as it guarantees to itself. The state is also a dispenser of goods. And all of these processes, which are associated with the use of coercion and distribution of goods may deviate to a form of pathology and can lead to various kinds of abuse. That is why we have to treat the fifth type of security very seriously. I think we can say that what Poles expect today from the state is security, freedom, equality and justice, which in Poland is always linked with solidarity. These are particularly important expectations.

Today we celebrate Flag Day and tomorrow is our national holiday, the anniversary of the May 3rd Constitution. It seems to me that this is the appropriate moment to reflect on and how all these issues are arranged in Poland today. I will start with the matter of awareness, and thus with the good news, what is optimistic and brings joy. The great work of patriotic communities, the great work of the late President Lech Kaczynski is bearing fruits. The assault of putting to shame everything that is Polish (the so called “pedagogy of shame”), all this offensive, which undermines our community values, our national values, fortunately this assault is in a large part defeated. And it is losing ground among all generations – in particular, among our youth. Good is again separated from evil. Everything that was done to confuse good and evil, is now dwindling. Events, such as those that commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Smolensk catastrophy or the funeral of Colonel Szyndzielorz “Lupaszka”, are good examples. But such examples can be counted by the thousands, many thousands. We can talk about a kind of rebirth. We can say that a great white-red movement has been created. And this is what Poland needs. Because the movement’s existence, its formation is a condition for Poland’s revival. The renewal of our country.

More than four centuries ago, Piotr Skarga wrote that those who govern should forget their personal benefits, and instead rule its people. Great scholars as Leon Petrazycki or Max Weber wrote that it is impossible to create a good order of public life without an elite guided in their actions by higher values, fundamental values, and not personal interest. Without reaching out for material goods, prestige or fame. And indeed, these kinds of people are the only ones who can govern well. If today, sadly we can state that our country not only deviates from this ideal – alas, there is no one ideal country – but also from a certain minimum in particular areas. It is because in the past 27 years (I by-pass the communist PRL state) people of this type present in various political formations, but not all, ruled and let’s not go into different complicated explanations, were the main reason for so many wrongdoings and the depravation of the state of our nation. But I do not say this just to spread pessimism. On the contrary, I say this in order to declare during these festive days of May, that there is a great opportunity, a great chance to change, and that we can make it.

We can do it, if we are consistent. Let us walk this path of renewal, let us stay determined to curb abuse, let us say in all directions and levels, including those that affect also us. We must keep this in mind.

This change, as I said, has started already and let me say a few words about this change. I will provide examples in reverse order. Let’s begin with a comprehensive range of security issues. The first, it is the external security. For the first time in 27 years, not counting a short period of rule in the Ministry of Defense by the late Alexander Szczygło, we are dealing with the work on real renewal and real strengthening of our army. And this is basic, remember, we have to have a strong army. An army, whose strength must be determined by our potential. Let us remember, countries with less potential than Poland, however, with very strong armies and a different geopolitical position. Another good piece of news. We have many indications that soon we will cease to be a tier-two NATO member. That the eastern flank of NATO will be strengthened and that the US military forces, but also those from other countries, members of NATO, will also be on our territory. Let me repeat once more, this is very important, groundbreaking, and we must remember about our army.

Also improved is our energy security. Soon, really soon we will open the gas terminal. This is a great work that we started long ago and which later on was (in effect) not pursued. This is a very significant change. And we can count on new and very beneficial for us European regulations. We are striving for them. Key to our security is us being a member of the European Union. We regard it as a permanent state. For one simple reason. Today, to be in Europe it means to be in the European Union. There is no other way. Poles are Europeans. Because they are Poles or Polish citizens of other nationalities. But the real affiliation to Europe is to be the EU member. We want it, and that is the view of the vast majority of Poles. Those who today try to claim otherwise, that even mention some sort of a referendum on withdrawal from the Union, are causing damage and are political adventurers.

The government, which steers our country today, the government of Beata Szydło, the government of Law and Justice Party functions in a consistent manner against these serious crises and dangers that exist today and are present in the Union. In the case of Great Britain, we support the efforts of Prime Minister Cameron and in recent negotiations we compromised and made significant concessions. It was so in the name of European unity. The Agreement Center Party, the predecessor of Law and Justice Party, was the first to set the matter of EEC entry as a priority in its political demands. But being a Union member does not mean to agree on everything. We will not agree to such a situation, which will threaten the security of our citizens, all Poles, especially Polish women, which will violate the right to a peaceful life and will violate our moral order. Those who want to stay in Poland, must accept our legal and moral order as their own. There is no other choice and we will not agree on anything else.

On internal security. It is very, very broad issue today. We have to go back to the modernization of the armed forces, including the police. We have reformed the Prosecution Office. With regard to its activities, there will no longer be granted informal immunities. We are preparing to reform the judiciary. It cannot be that the courts bow – and it does happen – to gangsters or racketeers. They asked whether they are happy, as it recently was, not long ago in case of Miroslaw Karapyta, while another man who has not paid installment for a television set and is a resident of a nursing home landed in jail. It cannot be that someone who has committed a misdeed but harmless in the physical sense, landed behind bars, while that who protested against his impunity, left this world with honour. That cannot be like that, while it is so in today’s Poland.

We must also strengthen our special services. Especially in one case, which is today very important. This is the war on terrorism. We need to be protected. The danger can come from various sides. And we have to remember that. Each responsible authority must keep this in mind and not create a legal situation of helplessness. We keep this in mind. This is already taken care of. This is undertaken by various departments, responsible ministers, and we will consistently follow this route.

On social security. widely understood. It is all the work, wages, pensions, health care, education, culture etc. In every case something is happening. +500 PLN Programme for children is implemented. We are working on pension reform. There are changes done and we are preparing for other changes in health services. We have changes in education and cultural policy. We are really making a breakthrough here. Some say: go even faster, faster, faster. It is not always possible to act really quickly. Especially in such areas as health care, which is very sensitive, where any mistake can cost human life. But the direction is determined, and we will go in that direction, with all determination. This area, so closely linked with justice will also change. In this direction, in the direction of strengthening justice.

On security of economic commerce and ownership. It refers to reform the state, including the judiciary, the whole mechanism of law enforcement and bailiff system. There is a lot to do and we are preparing for it. And it will be executed. But in today’s world there is more to do. Poland needs to come out of the trap of moderate development. Instead it must progress quickly. Faster, significantly faster than other EU countries, especially those wealthy ones. And here the experience proves that help is needed, and engagement from the state. And we have such a plan. This is the Morawiecki Plan. It is a great plan, the largest plan we have ever developed here in 27 years. This plan must obtain the appropriate tools. The whole government should work for this plan. Not only economic ministries. It is now extremely important. One can say it will be a decisive venture. It is the project for our future, for the Polish people and for Poland. For the Poland really strong, really equal in Europe.

Finally, on the fifth kind of security. This the rule of law. Here we need a little longer reasoning. Dear all, the rule of law is not something you can declare, decree even in the Constitution. It is an attribute of some form of social organization. The fundamental element in this type of organization is with the balance of power. If a certain social force enjoys a great superiority, it will always instrumentally dominate the law. It will always bring it under its own control. There is no other way. It is the balance that is needed. If you look at these 27 past years, this condition, along with the second one, i.e. appropriate status and awareness of the elite, especially the judiciary elite, were never suitable, and in the end these conditions were never met. We had to deal with the overwhelming predominance of one group. In the area of ownership, media, and also in the public life for the vast majority of the time, in these 27 years. Conditions to develop the rule of law arose only today, as we are able to rebuild it, or actually create it, because in Poland for a very long time there was no right balance. And we will do so. This social balance is something completely different than the division and balance of the three types of ruling. Of course, the latter is also extremely important, however what matters is the division and balance, not the domination of one power over others.

At this point, I think we all figured out that I refer to the case of the Constitutional Tribunal. The stand of Law and Justice Party is based on the observance of the constitution. Respect the Constitution as a whole, and in particular compliance with the clear and unambiguous provisions. In accordance with the Constitution and regulations, and in this case just with one single bill that is directly backed by the Constitution in Article 197. We cannot accept the fact that the Constitutional Tribunal neglects this. They simply have no right to do so. This is putting oneself above the Constitution. This is telling that it is not the nation that is sovereign, while the nation is represented by the Parliament, but stating that only the Constitutional Tribunal is sovereign. We do not agree with this.

But in other cases, we are ready for far-reaching compromise. We went to such compromises. As there were concluded talks. And it was not us to reject this compromise. This compromise was rejected by the Tribunal President Rzepliński. And I want to say clearly. We will go our own way and we will settle this matter. We will not agree with anarchy in Poland, even if this anarchy is guarded by the courts.

I will return to freedom, equality, justice and solidarity. Let us ask, what is the inverse to those terms. They are the reverse to one principle, which unfortunately in today Poland, still has not been eliminated. This is the principle of who the stronger, the better. I talked about it as a real force existing in Poland, already 27 years ago, maybe earlier. It was just evident and still stands out. And that is what we need to change. Let us ask, how is it with the Polish freedom? Of course, we have the right to speak out. What I still want to uderline, we have the press without censorship. Also, we can establish parties and mass media. We can go out and demonstrate. In today Poland, freedom is not violated in any way. It was sometimes violated, but during the previous governments. Sometimes in a very drastic way. But we cannot say that it is all that good. As I once said in front of Pilsudski monument in Warsaw, in Poland we have a sort of entire archipelago of such small kingdoms and principalities, small dictatorships in municipalities, in factories, in universities. There, people are simply afraid. They are afraid to criticize and to have other opinions. For this we cannot agree. We need to eliminate this archipelago.

Dear All. There is something in Poland, that puts emphasis on what also in the West of Europe, in many countries, wiped out freedom, and especially freedom of expression. This thing is political correctness. I want to say one thing, of course, we do not accept any laws on hate speech and similar inventions aimed to ensure that freedom is eliminated. I will say even more. Poland should be an island of freedom, even if everywhere else it will be limited. We were once an island of tolerance in Europe, and now we should become an island of freedom. And we need not be ashamed. This is our banner and great asset. This is our moral strength. This is not always so with equality and justice. Still lingers in Poland a kind of rule or principal, that Donald Tusk tried to impose on us in Poland. It divided Poles into two categories in which some people have the right to rule, while others do not. Because they wear mohair berets. Power voted by the former is, you can say, a dictatorship by definition. The opposition may be unrestricted. The scope of this power can be incomparably smaller than the previous one, yet it is still a dictatorship which we have to reject. Again I repeat in different ways that I think we should return to those ideas that were once in our program and which disappeared, for example the Civic Institute, which would support the small local newspapers, the media or various portals. So that to have the social control at this low level, because it is often missing. I think we should found Liberty Science Institute, which would verify negative decision relating to confer academic degrees and titles. If there are no merit, but other than merit reasons. It is necessary to have it. If Poland is really to become a country of freedom, justice and equality, we need to complete something else, something bigger. Much bigger.

In order to remind, May 3rd Constitution recommended its verification every twenty years. Next year it will be twenty years since the adoption of the 1997 Constitution. Isn’t this a good time, really good time to start working on a new primary statute? I think it’s a good time. I know that in this term probably constitutional majority will not be obtained, but we have the next term. We have many strengths. We have a lot to offer to the society. We can really achieve a great victory. I think we can find allies and, therefore, first within the ranks of our party Law and Justice, but later also in the Parliament. We should undertake these jobs. Perhaps we should foresee a referendum. It will not be decisive. We will not, as once happened with the Solidarity Constitution, try to impose other than constitutional way of adopting the constitution. We obey the law and the constitution. A new constitution must be enacted in accordance with these rules, which are fixed in the current constitution. But we can ask the public what it wants. What kind of Poland? Is it the one which we had, or the one which is ahead of us. Poland – let me repeat again – of security, freedom, equality, justice and solidarity.

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