‘Poland must strive for greater sovereignty’: Deputy PM

Poland's Deputy PM and Culture Minister Piotr Gliński. Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz

On Saturday, Poland’s Deputy PM and Culture Minister Piotr Gliński said that today’s politics is often referred to as “post-politics” due to the fact that rational debate is often replaced by emotions, during a meeting with potential voters in the town of Karczew near the country’s capital, Warsaw.

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The meeting formed part of a series of events during which top government ministers and political leaders of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party talk to their electorate and discuss upcoming reforms and other crucial issues.

“All this is intended to inspire a lasting loathing towards politics among citizens, to make people tired of politics and to make sure that the resulting conflict becomes too much to bear,” the minister said. He added that once this happens, those who continue heating up the debate may achieve their goals. “This is very dangerous for politics as such,” Mr Gliński said.

The Deputy PM said that modern political conflict focuses on four basic areas: sovereignty, justice, identity and participative democracy, with Poland’s current government striving for greater sovereignty in its relations with others.

The minister also presented a list of issues where his predecessors should have been more assertive in their actions, including the sale of important sectors of the industry to foreign investors or failing to ensure the necessary energy diversity or military spending. “We need to strive for greater independence on those issues, even when doing so may be costly,” he said.

“This does not mean that we don’t want to be a member of the EU,” the minister said, adding that he believed that Poland’s status in the EU should be that of “a nation state, a national culture, a country which defends its interests and its region.”

Poland’s ruling party has frequently been accused by the opposition of adopting a eurosceptical stance and of “paving the way towards the Polexit”, even though the party leaders have regularly praised the effects of Poland’s membership in the bloc.

However, Poland’s recent assertiveness in the implementation of some of the government’s policies, notably the controversial judicial reform, has put it at odds with the European mainstream, with the EU accusing Poland’s government of undermining democracy.