FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE – For Patrick Edery, Emmanuel Macron's critical statements on Polish politics are unfair and counterproductive in terms of European construction.
Patrick Edery is CEO of Partenaire Europe, a consultancy firm originating from Central Europe.
Mr. Macron seems to have found the culprit for all the ills of France and Europe: Poland. Already during the presidential elections, in difficulty over relocations, he declared: “In the three months following my election, there will be a decision taken on Poland. I put my responsibility on the table […]. You cannot have a country […] in breach of all the principles of the Union”. Three months have passed and we are still ranting.
Let's dwell on the facts: Warsaw meets the Maastricht criteria brilliantly. Admittedly, being in the midst of an economic boom makes things easier: 4% growth and 5% unemployment expected in 2017. In addition, Poland allocates, as NATO has requested, 2% of its GDP to defense and comes even decide to extend his army. In economic and security matters, it therefore respects its commitments. It will be retorted that Mr. Macron's reproaches are much more serious: “Europe […] was created on […] public freedoms which Poland is infringing today.” Which? The Opposition manifests as much as it wishes. No one is in jail for their opinions. The overwhelming majority of private media, TV, newspapers and magazines fire non-stop fire at their government.
It is true that the European Commission, embodied by its Vice-President Mr. Timmermans, has been accusing Poland regularly for two years. But Brussels does not have the authority to condemn, only to investigate. The Court of Justice of the European Union has never condemned Warsaw for the acts alleged by MM. Timmermans and Macron. Some will say that it is Polish civil society itself that condemns its government. But the two main players in civil society, the Church and the Solidarnosc trade union, are favorable to the government. There is sometimes talk of “mass” protests in Poland, but opposition rallies attract less than 1% of the population. The Polish government was democratically elected and according to the polls, if there were new elections tomorrow, he would be re-elected hands down.
Declaring that “the Polish people deserve better than this”, Mr. Macron calls for a change of government in Poland. But for whose benefit? Mr. Timmermans, in charge of the Polish file in Brussels, leads the accusations against Warsaw with the “Polish” guarantee of the President of the European Council Mr. Tusk. These two politicians, of the La République En Marche tendency, come from parties that have recently suffered bitter electoral defeats, and both are still old enough to return to business in their respective countries. Above all Mr. Tusk is the founder of the main opposition political party in Poland.
Let's sum up: Mr. Timmermans, who is not a magistrate but a political leader and whose party is only 5,7%, condemns without trial, by his words, a democratically elected government. Mr. Macron, whose reasoning is based on the convictions of Mr. Timmermans, calls for the change of a legitimate and legal government of an EU and NATO member country. Change whose first beneficiary would be the party of the President of the European Council Mr. Tusk. All three are of the same political color. So without asserting that the reasons for banning Poland from the EU are partisan, they are, to say the least, questionable. Moreover, isn't this declared desire of European leaders to bring dissonant voices (Greece, Hungary and now Poland) in line in the midst of Brexit counter-productive in European construction? Doesn't it reinforce the feeling of democratic deficit of the institutions of the EU in the eyes of its citizens?
Source: Le Figaro Premium – The questionable reasons for Emmanuel Macron's interference in Poland