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Polish Leader: EU Does Not Understand Post-Communist Eastern Europe

A photo taken on June 25, 2017 shows a sculpture of the founder of the Soviet Union Vladimir Lenin erected in 1970 at Moscow Square in front of the House of Soviets in Saint Petersburg. This year Russia will mark the 100 Anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution also known as …
MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty
VICTORIA FRIEDMAN

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said that the European Union does not understand post-Communist eastern countries, as the bloc bears down on Poland over sovereignty.

The premier made the comments to the Financial Times while he defended his country’s judicial reforms which seek to sweep out the remnants of its Soviet satellite past.

“People from Brussels completely do not understand the situation in post-Communist countries,” Prime Minister Morawiecki said, adding, “Just as every country has their challenges, so we have our challenges with the judiciary that hasn’t been reformed for the last 30 years.”

The conservative Law and Justice (PiS) was elected to power in 2015 and was the first party to gain enough seats to govern without a coalition since the end of the Cold War three decades ago.

Poland became the first post-Soviet bloc nation to become a “developed market” late last year, and like Hungary is experiencing a revival of conservatism and respect for European culture and religion.

Having such distinct perspectives on national sovereignty and freedom has resulted in eastern Europe clashing with the bloc over domestic issues, with both nations rejecting forced edicts from a centralised power, Brussels, as they had been forced to accept during the twentieth century from Moscow.

Writing for Breitbart News in 2017, American political analyst Jim Pinkerton observed that while the “old verities” of faith, family, patriotism, and nationalism were being abandoned by the West, Hungary and Poland were embracing them “in the wake of those harrowing experiences” under their Communist regimes and “hold[ing] dear the traditional values that the Reds once trampled.”

“Indeed, Hungary, Poland, and the other European countries with similar histories tend to be suspicious of any political phenomenon that even slightly resembles Communism,” Mr Pinkerton added.

The European Union’s unelected executive arm the European Commission took Poland to the European Court of Human Rights over the conservative government’s reforms to the judicial system.

Warsaw was ordered to halt the reforms, and while the nation reinstated the judges it retired in November, EU officials continue to threaten Poland with sanctions.

Mr Morawiecki warned that it would be “very dangerous” for the EU to continue the ECJ lawsuit, saying, “If they are keeping this open, I believe it is because some people want to politicise this, want to use it as an argument in a political campaign before the European Parliament elections.”

The conservative leader also advised Brussels to pay attention to Europe’s political climate, as populist, eurosceptic, and patriot-nationalist parties at set to make gains in May’s European Parliament elections.

“Brussels and the European Commission need to be very receptive to what is going on in different countries… The voice of different countries, and in particular central European countries, will need to be heard much more clearly,” Mr Morawiecki said.

“The EU as an institution needs reform… and when I speak to prime ministers from other countries, most of them agree that a serious revamp of procedures and institutions is needed, but everyone is waiting for the European elections,” he added.

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