New Polish authorities brought problems to Europe
The Russian minister did not specify who he refers to this destructive European group. Poland, the Baltic countries immediately came to mind ... Europe really entered 2016 a year overloaded with internal problems and contradictions. They do not even try to hide. Economic problems, the wave of migrants and the activity of Islamic terrorists have caused the selfish obsession of individual countries for purely national goals, questioned the credibility of the leading states of the continent, actually created a project called the European Union.
The Catholic portal of Lviv Uniates “Catholic Ogladach” spoke out quite straightforwardly. Peering over the fence of Europe, the Ukrainian Greek Catholics saw something for themselves that they hurried to share with the flock and the world. They saw an increasingly acute conflict between the left-liberal governments of Old Europe and the conservative leaders of the New Europe. He has almost turned into a war of sanctions within the EU.
This is how the Catholic Ogladach rated the new situation on the continent: “Against the background of European problems, especially in the field of security and worldview, the resurrection of the idea of Central Europe looks very interesting, but without the Germans. This should unite Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, possibly Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Bulgaria and Macedonia. The main protagonists who are promoting this idea in a new form are the conservative presidents of Poland and Croatia. ”
It seems that Lviv Uniates overdone. Presenting themselves in Europe, they essentially recreated the configuration of the territory, in different periods stories part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. For mass added some land of the former Austria-Hungary, whose population has not yet fit into the current European format. Whatever one may say, the fantasies of the Lviv portal weakly affect the interests of Ukrainians, but they pour water on the mill of the Polish project.
The conservative party Law and Justice, which came to power in Poland last year, dreamed of the fourth Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in its first period of governing the country - in 2005-2007. Then she ruled in coalition with other conservative parties and could not realize her ambitions. First of all, they concerned worldviews. “Law and Justice” declared a radical attitude to the assessments of the recent past, initiated laws on lustration, tried to limit a number of freedoms already announced, to subjugate an independent judiciary, including the Constitutional Tribunal. They talked about territorial claims, but could not even formulate them properly. Scandals, including corruption, quickly ruined that ruling coalition.
New early elections "PiS" lost eight years and remained in opposition. Last year, she managed to win presidential and parliamentary elections and form a one-party government. Old plans were brought to the world and they began to be implemented.
Soon after the election, the new Polish President Andrzej Duda set about trying to create a bloc of countries from the Baltic and the Black Sea to the Adriatic. It was assumed that the leading position in it will take Poland. The project strongly resembled the geopolitical concept of “Middle Europe” (Mitteleuropa), voiced by the Germans at the beginning of the last century. True, they then assumed that the center of the new bloc would be Germany, and the neighboring countries would integrate so much with it that they would switch to German and German currency in unison. Andrzej Duda did not see the Germans in his project at all, that even Lviv uniates noted for their heave.
Dreams of the past gentry greatness picked up and the ruling party "PiS". She began to build a new Poland, to begin with by drastically changing the laws on the Constitutional Court and on state media. The population protested. Rebelled European politicians and officials. The European Commission demanded an explanation from Warsaw: why the Polish authorities are moving away from European legal norms? Even habitually threatened the Poles with sanctions. In response, I heard a demand to respect the sovereignty of Poland, because the adopted laws are its internal affair. Polish Prime Minister Beat Shidlo escorted the EU’s demand with a demarche and removed the EU flag from the protocol. "We made a decision," said Shidlo, "that the meetings and press conferences of the Polish government will take place against the backdrop of the Polish red and white flags." Europe retreated, but did not give up. Scandalous Polish laws sent for examination. Now Poland is threatened with being deprived of the right to vote in the European Parliament, if the new laws are declared undemocratic.
Poland is looking for allies
It seems that the Poles were ready for such a development of events. At the beginning of the year, the leader of the Law and Justice Party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, met in one of the Nedzice boarding houses in southern Poland with another high-ranking European troublemaker - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The current parish of Orban in power (before that, he headed the Hungarian government in 1998-2002) occurred in the 2010 year, when his party Fidesz unequivocally won the parliamentary elections. EU officials immediately rushed to classify Victor Orban as Euro-skeptics.
Admittedly, he did not disappoint his opponents. He began to act, not looking at the protests of Brussels. In the autumn of 2013, speaking at the third congress of the Hungarian diasporas, Orban already said directly: “We may have to build new economic and social systems, as well as a cultural model that is different from the modern European one.” Prior to that, the Hungarian Prime Minister changed the official name of the country (from “Hungarian Republic” to “Hungary”), imposed restrictions on the activities of journalists (demanded that they support the ideas of Hungarian identity and Hungarian community), allowed the use of firearms weapon for self defense. Then Viktor Orban cut the parliament in half (from 386 to 199 people), took the Central Bank under the control of the government ... The Hungarian Prime Minister did a lot more in spite of the European officials. Last year, for example, he fenced the border of the country with a wall and did not let migrants into his territory.
In short, the interlocutor, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, chose an already-matured one in the confrontation with Brussels. As Radio Poland reported later, the unofficial conversation of politicians lasted for more than six hours. The details did not make it public. According to the deputy of the Polish Sejm from the Civic Platform opposition party, Pavel Zalewski: “For Yaroslav Kachinsky, the experience of Viktor Orban may be important. how to build relations with Brussels so that, on the one hand, to implement changes that are contrary to EU standards, and on the other - not to lose funding or not to be pushed into the second European league. ”
About the loss of funding - this is the point. The European Union has already invested billions of euros in Poland under 100, provided it with preferences in food supplies, shared technologies. The economy of the Poles has risen above its neighbors, although it does not reach as much as twenty-five percent to the average European one. Even the most notorious Euroskeptic will not want to lose such support.
That's why the PiS leader turned for support to the Hungarian prime minister. Here Kaczynski was not mistaken. Shortly after the meeting in Nedzice, Viktor Orban said: “The European Union should not think about applying any sanctions against Poland, because it will require complete unanimity, and Hungary will never support any sanctions against Poland.” (I quote from Reuters.)
Under the guise of a military umbrella
The project "Central Europe" and promote the Polish military. In connection with the events in Ukraine, they started talking about the creation of a joint military brigade with her and Lithuania. Even the name came up with "LitPoluUkrbrig" (LITPOLUKRBRIG). Concluded an agreement. By this January, the outlines of the new structure have already become apparent. There are four thousand servicemen in the brigade. The Polish Defense Ministry reported that the brigade would reach full combat readiness by the beginning of next year. Declared and objectives of the new unit. After the recent meeting with his Lithuanian and Ukrainian colleagues, Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macerevich said: “The multinational brigade is a sign, a symbol and a very clear signal to everyone who wants to undermine the world in Europe.”
A hint seems to be made on Russia. That was already the case when Poles dragged American anti-missile systems to the country. Over time, it turned out that with the advent of missile defense elements in Poland, the status of the country in the NATO coordinate system changed. It began to play a more prominent role in the alliance, and the threats from Russia declared by the Poles did not increase. So the phrase “signal to all” should also be interpreted broadly.
In January, the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Warsaw and discussed with Andrzej Duda a summit of this organization to be held in Poland in the summer. The conversation flowed smoothly beyond the scope of the expected event. Interlocutors opened up new breathtaking perspectives. "Since joining NATO, Poland has been a very strong and active ally," said Jens Stoltenberg, and noted that "after the NATO summit in Warsaw, the presence of alliance forces in Poland will be increased."
Andrzej Duda supported the guest and hurried to invite him to military cooperation with Ukraine and Moldova. Thereby he emphasized: Poland’s goals go beyond the borders of the Atlantic alliance. As for NATO, experts note: Polish politicians here are already openly competing with the Germans.
Warsaw is now seeking to take the place of Germany in the alliance, or at least to equal its importance and weight. The Poles are already publicly quarrel with the Germans, remembering the war, other tragic events of the joint history. The head of the German Foreign Ministry, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, tried to smooth over the growing contradictions. However, his visit to Warsaw did not bring anything new in relations between the two countries.
The situation is slowly heating up. Europe already has enough voltage points - Cyprus, Greece, the Balkans, Transnistria, Ukraine ... Now the Polish project has been added. There is nothing surprising in the fact that the Russian Foreign Ministry has become agitated, and Sergey Lavrov began to remind the Europeans of the existing general rules. Razdray on the continent is unlikely to lead here to a new balance of power and the satisfaction of someone's ambitions. But it threatens to plunge the European Union into chaos, which is already experiencing an internal crisis. Waves of this chaos can go far beyond the borders of Europe ...