Analysis from the V4 Report. In Poland, the international media has tried to manipulate the news regarding the changes occurring in the Polish government. The ruling party of Law and Justice (PiS), which is focused on the long-term, has reshuffled their cabinet in an effort to become even stronger.
However, many opponents – whether out of vanity or ignorance – have shamelessly attempted to imply that these cosmetic changes were all about “appeasing” the EU Parliament. While a nice “reach”, we believe this represents a false narrative and does not represent the reality of the situation.
Achieving success is not easy, but maintaining that excellence may be even harder. Change, even when on top, is necessary to avoid future mediocrity. This is exactly what is happening in Poland with the PiS.
In December, at the height of their success, the PiS did the unthinkable and replaced the very popular Beata Szydlo, who also just happened to be one of the party’s best campaigners, with Mateusz Marowiecki, the very successful Finance Minister. Many speculate that this was done in preparation for Szydlo to challenge the tainted liberal Mayor of Warsaw while assigning new PM Marowiecki to focus on the economy and defending Poland against Article 7 and mandatory migrant quotas.
The media’s spin that Morawiecki went to Brussels on a “charm offensive” is quite curious, given the fact that it was Jean-Claude Juncker who invited him for the meeting. Despite the various changes inside the government, Poland will not submit to the EU on Article 7, national sovereignty or quotas. The major players for these upcoming battles are still in place. The PiS will now try to expand their reach into other regions once dominated by the opposition.
There were some changes that may spur legitimate debate inside of Poland. We understand this, but two of the three Ministers replaced (Minister of the Environment Jan Szyszko and Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz) were not primarily involved with the two main disagreements between Poland and Brussels.
Additionally, Interior Minister Mariusz Błaszczak will replace Macierewicz at Defense. As Minister of the Interior, Blaszczak was a staunch and very outspoken opponent of relocation quotas and the migration policies of Brussels and Western Europe. Blaszczak was direct and blunt, and certainly not “charming” to the leaders of the EU.
The third person out was Minister of Foreign Affairs, Witold Waszczykowski, who was rumored to be replaced for some time now. We liked Waszczykowski and believed he performed well, but others claimed he was clumsy. His replacement Jacek Czaputowicz, who was Secretary of State, may not be as colorful but certainly is not expected to push for any radical changes to the current agenda.
Also, Zbigniew Tadeusz Ziobro will remain as Minister of Justice. Ziobro is not exactly a “sweet talker” but a tough realist who said the EU clash over Article 7 would end in the commission backing down and Poland being taken more seriously in the future.
“Poland is one of the largest EU countries and we expect to be treated with respect, not like some messenger boy,” he said. These are not the words of a Minister who will be looking to appease Brussels regarding Article 7.
As usual, one must ignore the noise of the anti-Visegrad, pro-Berlin network of “think tanks” and periodicals, which seek to create environments and false divisions which simply do not exist. They have a right to express their opinions, but they also receive their funding from someone.
The PiS is not trying to earn “blue and gold” stars from the EU; they are seeking to strengthen Poland’s foundation and core values as they continue to emerge as a major political and economic force in Europe. Poland will not back down from the main battles with Brussels over migrant quotas, national sovereignty and issues regarding Article 7.
We believe the government of Poland and the PiS are making bold changes to strengthen their position and to build upon the strong foundation established under the leadership of Beata Szydlo. They have a long-term vision that focuses on strengthening their economy, while protecting their people, culture and way of life.
The government of Poland will certainly work with the leaders of the EU when merited, but they will defend their nation and sovereignty when challenged by Brussels.
Poland is a large and great nation. Unlike others, they do not talk about values, they live the core values Europe was built and founded upon.
Brussels will just have to get used to a strong and confident Poland that will help define Europe in the coming decades.