“We do not want to pull Poland out of the EU; rather, we have reasons to anticipate its collapse. (…) Our EU membership is beneficial for us, even though it has negative aspects. (…) We accept compromises, which are difficult for us,” says Prof. Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Law and Justice MEP, in an interview with Dominika Wielowieyska in Gazeta Wyborcza.
The EU requires changes
The MEP points out that the Union as an alliance of states is useful but requires changes. In Krasnodębski’s opinion, the EU is a dangerous ideological project, a utopian project. No one can guarantee that it will last forever. It is necessary to put much effort into the EU community’s functioning and respond to perceived threats. Mr. Krasnodębski stated:
“In European politics, nothing is ever given once and for all, because member states have conflicting individual interests. We have to strive for a compromise, but a compromise is not always possible and cannot mean imposing one’s will on the smaller members of the Union by the most influential ones.”
“The shortcomings of the Union must be discussed. (…) We should not be insisting on creating a picture-perfect image in which everyone has the same possibilities of influencing the reality in Europe. Moreover, debates should not be blocked because of political correctness, allowing only praises of the EU.”
Poland – a German colony?
Prof. Krasnodębski also said, “Poland is not – and I hope it will not be – a German colony in the old sense, but behind such a generalization, there are justified concerns and facts, which might sometimes be exaggerated, but it is difficult not to notice them.” Prof. Krasnodębski continued:
“In Poland, the German influence is so great that it is rightly perceived as a threat, as a postmodern form of colonization. The influence is powerful across Europe as well. The financial crisis of 2007 revealed Germany’s role as its hegemon. Perhaps Germany was, as it is claimed, pushed into this role, but now it is fulfilling it with zeal. This does not mean that German representatives in the EU act only to the benefit of their country.”
However, Germany successfully defends its strategic economic and political interests by using the Union. When joining the EU, the Greeks were very concerned, not without reasons, that a powerful Germany would crush them.
An important voice from smaller countries
Prof. Krasnodębski emphasized that “the EU was created precisely so that smaller countries could have a say in European affairs.” A veto mechanism is one of the tools used by smaller countries to have their voices heard.
“Germany has become assertive. If you are a powerful player, you are tempted to take advantage of that powerful position. It is natural and therefore requires a lot of self-control. France’s ambitions are similarly excessive, as is the arrogance of some other countries towards Central and Eastern Europe. The treaties serve to restrain these hegemonistic ambitions. That is why such an instrument as a veto is in the treaties.”
To illustrate the issue, Prof. Krasnodębski referred to the Polish veto of the “rule of law mechanism” added by the EU Parliament as a condition to be met by member countries before having EU funds allocated and released to them. Prof. Krasnodębski sees the rule of law mechanism as an undue interference with the sovereignty of member states. In his view, it is also an attempt by the powerful radical groups in the European Parliament to impose their understanding of certain concepts and their radical views on member states.
“We joined another Union. The one that would not interfere with the internal affairs of member countries,” stated the MEP.