March 16, 2017
A Polish horror story
We have been asking whether the antics of the Polish government last week were merely a political miscalculation, or whether there is some sort of a strategic objective behind it, however warped it may be. Radoslav Sikorski tweeted in response that it was confusion, nothing else. This morning, however, we noted a comment by Slawomir Sierakowski, no fan of the Kakzynski crowd either, who argues that there is a strategic objective after all. His essay reads like a crime novel.
“One possible manoeuvre is arresting Tusk, which would force the EU to negotiate with Kaczynski for his release. The Financial Times reports that Kaczynski told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Poland will seek an arrest warrant. That may sound absurd. But it is no more absurd than proposing Jacek Saryusz-Wolski’s candidacy to replace Tusk. And it is certainly no more absurd than the rationale for issuing an arrest warrant: Kaczynski’s belief that Tusk conspired with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the 2010 plane crash that killed his brother, then-Polish President Lech Kaczynski... Kaczynski will not rest until he puts Tusk in prison. This obviously poses a problem for the EU, because the purported criminal is the President of the European Council.”
The polls are telling us that a large majority of Poles wants to remain in the EU. But such a stand-off could shift political sentiment quickly. He noted that Kaczynski’s wars never end with compromise. Sierakowski expects Poland to pursue a policy of vetoing European Council resolutions from now on, while the European Council in turn will rely on QMV procedures - where applicable - to formally overrule Poland. Sierakowski’s overall conclusion is that the EU will ultimately prevail, because the Polish electorate will chose the EU and Nato if confronted with the stark choice its government is leading the country towards.