Analysis: Jarosław Kaczyński says being in EU is patriotic duty

The leader of the ruling party has said that Polish membership of the EU is a “patriotic duty”.

The leader of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) spoke on Saturday at his party’s regional rally in Poznań. He declared that membership of the EU is in line with Polish patriotism and is beneficial for the country. “It provides higher levels of security and more status” he added.

But he warned that there was a problem of equality between members of the EU. He argued that equality between members was now under question with ideas of a ‘two-speed Europe emerging’. “It means a division between members with full rights and those without” he said.

According to Mr Kaczyński “this has implications for our everyday life. We have all seen shops with German washing powders. The same brands, but with inferior content, are being sold in Poland”. He was referring to the issue of brand goods having allegedly inferior content quality for Central and East European markets. “No to a union of two speeds? No to a union of two qualities!” he called.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, speaking at the same event questioned the liberal opposition over the fact that its MEPs voted against making it compulsory for standardisation of contents of products across the EU. He cited the fact of producers substituting glucose syrup for sugar in soft drinks in sales to Central European markets.

The ruling party leader repeated his questioning of the opposition “European Coalition” and accused it of wanting to introduce the Euro. He believes that such an early introduction of the common currency would damage household budgets and the Polish economy as a whole.

The comments of both the ruling party leader and the PM might be designed to put the opposition European Coalition on the defensive. They want to position the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) as defenders of Polish rights within the EU, and portray the opposition as too willing to sacrifice Polish interests in return for greater acceptance of the European establishment.