5 July 2018
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki addressed the European Parliament on Wednesday as part of a series of ‘Future of Europe’ speeches by national leaders.
In response, European Green Party co-chair Reinhard Bütikofer and Monica Frassoni said:
“The speech was disappointing on a number of levels. For the Polish, it was a missed opportunity to bandage over old wounds and make a fresh start with the European institutions.
“Commission President Juncker and First Vice-President Timmermans - who is responsible for the Article 7 procedure – didn’t help matters by simply not showing up.
"Morawiecki set the scene by calling for a ‘Union of Nations 2.0’ and dismissing attempts for further EU integration as futile. He compounded this bleak future by somehow equating growing populism to ‘democratic enlightenment.’
“In his initial comments he didn’t even deem it necessary to address the hugely damaging judicial reforms that threaten the country’s rule of law.
“Few MEPs took the time to expand on the many benefits of the EU for Poland, such as the protection of Polish workers’ rights, help in offsetting the damaging impact of Brexit for Poland, and standing up to Russia - as mentioned by Greens/EFA Group co-president Ska Keller.
“At one point, Morawiecki ventured to say that the Polish had a “freedom gene”. On this, we tend to agree, though it is most in evidence among the growing numbers of people taking to the streets waving EU flags to protest against the government.
“The EU must not shy away from its responsibilities and must instead loudly defend and protect those citizens that share its values.
“By no means is it a forgone conclusion that Poland will embark on its own course and turn its back on the EU’s founding principles. The country is now at a crossroads and would be well-advised to take the path leading towards an open, inclusive, and forward-looking EU.”
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