Poland says Berlin and Paris running EU as an ‘oligarchy’

he Polish prime minister has accused Berlin and Paris of not listening enough to less powerful EU member states. Mateusz Morawiecki said the threat of imperialism in the EU needed to be fought like Russian imperialism.

Morawiecki feels that Germany and France have too much power in the EU

© Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto/IMAGOMorawiecki feels that Germany and France have too much power in the EU

The Polish prime minister claims the EU is democratic in name only, with Germany and France wielding the real power while ignoring voices that had warned of the risk posed by Russia.

In an op-ed for the German newspaper Die Welt on WednesdayMateusz Morawiecki wrote that “Europe finds itself in its present situation not because it is insufficiently integrated, but because it refused to hear the truth.”

Morawiecki said the EU had in particular failed to heed his country’s warnings about Russian expansionism under Berlin and Paris’ political dominance in the bloc.

What else did the Polish PM say?

“On paper, all member states are equal,” Morawiecki wrote. “But the political reality shows that the weight of the German and French voices is dominant. We are dealing with a formal democracy but a de-facto oligarchy where the power is held by those who are the strongest.”

Morawiecki said that “the threat of imperialism within the EU” must now be combated just as Russian imperialism needed to be.

He urged reforms to put “the common good and equality back at the top of the EU’s principles.”

“It is the member states and not the EU institutions that must decide on the direction and priorities of EU action,” he added.

The search for consensus, and “not the domination of the strongest,” must form the basis of cooperation, he wrote.

Trouble between the EU and Poland

Warsaw and Brussels have long been at loggerheads, with the EU slamming the ruling Polish Law and Justice party (PiS) over moves it sees as undermining the rule of law.

The bloc recently refused to release post-COVID recovery funds over concerns that a disciplinary mechanism for Polish judges could lead to too much government interference in the judiciary.

Poland announced in May that it had concluded negotiations with Brussels over the blocked funds, saying it expected to receive around €35 billion ($35.7 billion) “within months.”

Brussels has, however, signaled that Poland’s latest judicial reforms do not go far enough to satisfy its demands.