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"Donald Tusk Is Running His Own Campaign in Poland", says Piotr Wawrzyk

Donald Tuskgpc
"Donald Tusk meets the most important politicians of the EU institutions and has many contacts there. I am convinced that without these contacts, Brussels's position on Poland would not be so decisive", says professor Piotr Wawrzyk, Political Science Department at the University of Warsaw.

Why did Donald Tusk, the head of the European Council,ask for a meeting with the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda?

Donald Tusk’s attempt to meet with President Duda is part of hisinitialelection campaign ahead of the presidential elections in Poland. He wanted to portray himself as a savior of the country, as someone who would call the Polish president to order for the alleged good of Poland and the wellbeing of its citizens. This is the only way to read it because matters of individual countries do not belong to responsibilities of the head of the European Council, and he should not interfere. He tried to rescue his standing and reputation in Poland in light of the latest findingsin the Amber Gold scandal.

What is the source of EU politicians’ huge interest in the shape of reform of the judiciary in Poland?

First and foremost, it results from the lobbying of the Civic Platform (PO)politicians in Brusselsthat has been going on for a while and is quite effective. The first such episode was the case of the Constitutional Tribunal in Poland. It is also worth noting that one of the Polish EU Parliament deputies, according to media reports, was the co-author of the European Parliament’s resolution directed against Poland. Let us remember that Donald Tusk has his contacts there and meets the most important politicians of the EU institutions I am convinced that without these contacts, Brussels's position on Poland would not be so decisive.

Are threats of the triggering of Article 7 of the EU Treaty, which would ultimately deprive Poland of its vote at European Council meetings, realistic?

There is no chance of the launch of Article 7 because all member states will not accept it. However, what the European Commission can attempt to do is to very carefully scrutinize the EU funds for Poland, and this way can take back some of the money we have spent, and will not return those funds to us. In addition, the EC can structure future budgets so that Poland is given less money

Is there a chance to calm the dispute between Brussels and Warsaw?

The violent reactions in Brussels coincide with the escalation of the political conflict in Poland. When the conflict dies down, the statements and actions at the EU institutions will be much less intense, or at least they will not be so authoritative. Please note that the last few months were quite peaceful as Polish politics go. Not much was happening until the reform of the judiciary emerged. This shows a certain parallel trend. When the opposition in Poland becomes aggressive, it provokes an immediate action among Brussels politicians who are quick to a throw a mouthful of empty phrases about the situation in Poland.


 – An Interview by PaweĊ‚ Kryszczak

Source: Gazeta Polska Codziennie, July 21, 2017

18:41 21 lipca 2017