Mateusz Morawiecki, Polish Prime Minister: “The war in Ukraine has also revealed the truth about Europe”

By Le Monde

The Twenty-Seven have refused to hear warnings about the Russian threat for years, denouncing the “de facto oligarchy” exercised by Paris and Berlin over the Union.

The war in Ukraine has exposed the truth about Russia. Those who did not want to see that Putin’s state had imperialist tendencies must face the facts: in Russia, the demons of the 19th and 20th centuries have been revived: nationalism, colonialism, and an increasingly visible. But the war in Ukraine has also revealed the truth about Europe. Vladimir Putin had seduced many European leaders. They are in shock now.

The return of Russian imperialism should not surprise us. Europe found itself in the present situation not because it was insufficiently integrated but because it refused to listen to the voice of truth. This voice has been heard from Poland for many years.

This ignoring of the Polish voice illustrates today’s more significant problem facing the European Union (EU). Within it, the equality of individual states is declarative. Political practice shows that the German and French voices are of paramount importance. We are therefore dealing with a formal democracy and a de facto oligarchy in which power is held by the strongest.

The principle of unanimity is the safety mechanism that protects the EU from the tyranny of the majority. It can be frustrating to seek a compromise between twenty-seven countries that so often have conflicting interests, and the compromise itself may not satisfy everyone one hundred percent. However, this ensures that every voice is heard and that the solution adopted meets the minimum expectations of each Member State.

If someone suggests making the EU even more dependent on German decisions than before – which would be equivalent to abolishing the rule of unanimity – it suffices to do a brief retrospective analysis of these decisions to see the consequences of this choice. If, in recent years, Europe had always acted as Germany wanted, would our situation be better or worse today?

If all of Europe had followed the German vote, Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 would have been launched many months ago. Europe’s dependence on Russian gas, which Putin uses as a blackmail tool against the entire continent, would be almost irreversible.

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