Polish politician says Germany trying to make EU 'German Fourth Reich'

Germany is trying to turn the EU into a ‘Fourth Reich’, says head of Poland’s ruling party as Brussels SUES to stop the country over-ruling European laws

  • One of Poland’s leaders said Germany is trying make EU a ‘German Fourth Reich’ 
  • Jaroslaw Kaczynski, 72, is the head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party 
  • He added: ‘If we agreed with this modern-day submission we’d be degraded’

The head of Poland’s ruling party Jaroslaw Kaczynski said on Friday that Germany was trying to turn the European Union into a federal ‘German Fourth Reich’.

Speaking to the far-right Polish daily GPC, the head of the Law and Justice (known by its Polish acronym PiS) party said some countries ‘are not enthusiastic at the prospect of a German Fourth Reich being built on the basis of the EU’.

‘If we Poles agreed with this kind of modern-day submission we would be degraded in different ways,’ said Kaczynski, 72, who is also one of four Polish deputy prime ministers.

The head of Poland’s ruling party Jaroslaw Kaczynski, 72, (pictured) said on Friday that Germany was trying to turn the European Union into a federal ‘German Fourth Reich’

He added that the EU’s Court of Justice was being used as an ‘instrument’ for federalist ideas.

Poland has been involved in a lengthy stand-off with the European Union, particularly over the judicial reforms that PiS has pushed through since 2015.

In the latest twist, Poland accused the EU of ‘attacking our sovereignty’ and vowed to fight its ‘bureaucracy’ after Brussels launched legal action against the country for over-ruling European Union laws.  

In remarks broadcast on national television, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, 53, said the EU’s decision reflected a trend towards ‘bureaucratic centralism’ in Brussels that ‘has to be stopped’.  

Earlier this year Mr Kaczynski said the ability of Brussels to overrule the Polish government means that Poland is ‘not a sovereign state’.

The decision to launch legal action escalates a long-running feud between Warsaw and Brussels over Poland’s perceived backsliding on EU democratic norms. 

In October, Poland’s constitutional court ruled that Polish laws have supremacy over those of the EU in areas where they conflict. In November, the same tribunal ruled the European rights pact was incompatible with its constitution.

When countries join the EU, as Poland did in 2004, they must bring their laws into line with the bloc’s regulations and accept the European Court of Justice as the supreme arbiter of those rules.   

In launching its legal action, the EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, said that it sees two constitutional tribunal decisions this year as ‘expressly challenging the primacy of EU law’.

Poland has accused the EU of ‘bureaucratic centralism’.

During German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to Warsaw earlier this month, Prime Minister Morawiecki said the current German government’s support for EU federalism was ‘utopian and therefore dangerous’.

It comes after heightened tension between Poland and the rest of the bloc as far-right politcians set an exit from the EU in their sights.

The chances of ‘Polexit’ increased when the country’s supreme court ruled in October that EU treaties were incompatible with the Polish constitution.

The EU decision to launch legal action escalated a long-running feud between Warsaw and Brussels over Poland’s perceived backsliding on EU democratic norms (pictured, thousands attend a pro-EU rally in Krakow, Poland on October 10, 2021 after the first ruling against the EU)

Who is Jaroslaw Kaczynski?

Jarosław Kaczyński, 72, is one of four deputy prime ministers in Poland. He was Prime Minister for a little more than a year from 2006 to 2007 and is leader of the Law and Justice party (known by its Polish acronym PiS).

Jarosław’s identical twin brother Lech founded the party with him and was the President of Poland from 2005 until his death in 2010, when he died in a plane crash that killed 95 other people.

The current PiS leader’s political views are polarising and he sits on the far-right of the spectrum.

Identical twin brothers Lech (left) and Jaroslaw Kaczynski from the Law and Justice (PiS) party during a meeting in Gdansk in 2005

Jarosław believes Poland should shun Western culture and return to its conservative and Roman Catholic origins.

He was widely criticised for his views on the gay community, views his brother Lech also held.

While he said he accepted homosexuals should not be treated differently from the rest of the population, he said they shouldn’t be allowed to teach in schools. He also previously said “The affirmation of homosexuality will lead to the downfall of civilisation. We can’t agree to it.”

Yet although his views are traditionally ultra-conservative, he has a soft spots for animals, cats in particular.

His bill to ban breeding animals for their fur was seen as a redeeming feature for Jarosław in the eyes of some of his rivals.

Warsaw has disagreed with Brussels over democratic standards and the independence of its judiciary for a long time. 

The supreme court was asked to consider the status of EU law by the country’s ruling coalition, which is dominated by the conservative EU-sceptic Law and Justice Party, and Prime Minister Morawiecki.

Mr Kaczynski welcomed the court’s ruling and said the ability of Brussels to overrule the Polish government means that Poland is ‘not a sovereign state’.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (pictured) has said the current German government’s support for EU federalism was ‘utopian and therefore dangerous’

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (left) standing behind Poland’s conservative ruling party leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski (right) earlier this month at a meeting of conservative populist party leaders in Warsaw, Poland

He argued Brussels has ‘no right to interfere’ in Polish affairs, echoing the arguments made in Britain by pro-Brexit leaders who were angry at European red tape restricting Westminster’s ability to rule.   

At the time EU leaders hit back at the ruling. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said she was ‘deeply concerned’ by the ruling.

Meanwhile German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Poland must ‘fully and completely’ implement EU law. 

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