Poland and Germany relationship: The double-faced Polish foreign policy is now challenging one of the big guns of the EU, Germany, by thrashing its Imperialist ambitions.
Poland and Germany have had a long and complicated relationship throughout history. The two countries have been at odds for centuries, with wars and border disputes often causing tension between them. Recently, however, the relationship between the two countries has become even more fragile. In the 2020s, the two countries are in a state of flux, with a variety of issues causing further tension. From controversial issues like EU funds to the lack of diplomatic dialogue between the two countries, the relationship between Poland and Germany is strained terribly.
With both countries facing difficult economic times, the delicate balance between the two countries is becoming even more fragile. Despite the tensions between the two nations, there is still hope that the relationship can be repaired and the two countries can continue to coexist peacefully. Poland dreams to be a big gun of the European Union. Whereas, Germany has a bee in its bonnet that could render Poland as a new challenger in its terrain. Only time will tell if that Polish hope will become a reality or not. But, right now, Poland is trying everything within its reach to achieve that dream. Their recent deal with South Korea is a prime example. However, Poland also often tried to show off or tease Germany about its progress.
Like it has been done recently. How? Via roadblocking Germany’s EU reform plan.
Poland chides Germany
According to a media report by ABC news, Poland’s prime minister has warned European Union, especially Germany that Brussels may see “revolts” if the European Union turns into a “super-state government” that ignores national differences.
In his speech in the presence of Baden-Württemberg in Germany, Prime Minister Mateusz Moraweicki highlighted the role of sovereign nation-states in “maintaining the freedom of nations.” “Nothing will safeguard the freedom of nations, their culture, their social, economic, political and military security better than nation states,” Morawiecki said, adding that “other systems are illusory or utopia,” warning of a further federalization of the EU.
The alternatives to a Europe of sovereign nation-states would be a “technocratic utopia, which some in Brussels seem to envision” or “neo-imperialism”, the Polish prime minister said. Morawiecki’s speech alters from other speeches of European leaders, in which, they have often called for changing the EU’s existing treaties.
Poland stands against this particular idea. On the idea of changing treaties, PM Moraweicki stressed, “I warn all those who want to create a super-state government by a narrow elite: if we ignore cultural differences the outcome will be the weakening of Europe and a series of revolts,” The war has placed Europe at a “historic turning point” where it has to prove its strength that comes from the diversity of its nations, he argued.
Though, Moraweicki’s statements were for the EU as a whole. However, the aim was undoubtedly at Germany as the statements were made in Germany in front of German PM Winfried Kretschmann.
Moreover, it was only Germany’s idea to change the EU’s working structure.
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Change the treaties
The German government has highlighted the importance of reforming the EU since it took office last year. The coalition agreement even commits the government to push for developing the EU as a European federation. The German government has since adopted a more “pragmatic” approach that seeks institutional reform within the existing treaty framework. In his Prague address last year, Scholz said that EU treaties are not “set in stone” and that EU enlargement should come with reform.
Small nations have been particularly resistant to Germany’s push to abandon the principle of ‘unanimity voting’ in matters of foreign policy and taxation, which was even made, a requirement for Berlin to agree to the admission of new member states. As per the plan, Germany wanted to eliminate the unanimous approach of the EU and rather shift to a majority system. This means any decision taken by Brussels without unanimous approval will get imposed on the EU as a whole.
If the EU has stressed to impose sanctions, everyone has to follow the suit. In this system, smaller EU nations will have little or no little say on the matter. And so, several member states had already made clear that they oppose the move. Following the conclusion of the Conference on the Future of Europe in May 2022, thirteen Eastern European and Scandinavian member states warned in a joint position paper on “unconsidered and premature attempts to launch a process towards treaty change.”
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Small European nations want a Europe for all. A Europe that is strong because of its nation-states, not one built on their ruins. This is why Poland has also expressed its concern to Germany. But, in a more harsh and critical tone.
Poland has tools!
Not only this, but it appears Poland also has a plan B to thwart Germany’s EU expansionism. At the end of his speech, Morawiecki reiterated Poland’s demand for World War II reparations from Germany. The PM stressed that he does not want to dwell on this issue in his speech, but he simply cannot overlook it. Poland never received reparation from Germany for the crimes of World War II, for the destruction, stolen property, and treasures of national culture.
Compensation is needed to reconcile perpetrators and victims. At this crucial moment in the history of Europe, we need such a reconciliation because we face huge common challenges. Poland had decided to raise a trillion-dollar reparation demand from Germany last year. The German government though has often reprimanded in its statements that it does not see any legal basis for Poland’s reparations claim and considers the matter closed. But, Poland just can’t stop raising the matter again and again.
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The two well-known leaders of the Polish PiS party, Duda and Moraweicki, have consistently criticized Germany ever since they have come to power. After the Ukraine War, things significantly changed. But right now, everything is coming back to square one.
Poland has once more emphasized to Germany that until Poland is existing in the European bloc, Germany’s desire to establish the EU as its kingdom will remain dormant. Oh my, God Scholz, you remain helpless against Poland and eastern Germany as a whole.
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