‘If the EU is to survive, it must be a union of sovereign states,’ says PM

Asked about the future of the European Union by reporters from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stated that "if the EU is to survive, if it is to be strong, it must be a Union of sovereign states, a Europe of homelands, respecting their traditions and cultures”.

The prime minister also added “but at the same time it should cooperate very closely economically and have a real European army, which would be able to defend Europe from the south, east and north”.

The interview was published on September 11, the same day that German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid her final state visit to Poland.

Asked about the Chancellor’s visit to Poland and Polish-German relations during her time in power, the Polish PM answered “the Chancellor said in 2005 that good relations with Poland, just like with France, are part of the German raison d'etre (...), since then Poland has become one of Germany's most important partners, the fifth largest as a trade partner and even the third largest in terms of imports to Germany in the first quarter of 2021.”

However, Prime Minister Morawiecki noted that Poland sees inadequacies when it comes to the legal status of the Polish minority in Germany, which was taken away during the Nazi era and has never been reinstated. One of the consequences of this state of affairs is that the Polish community in Germany does not have the same right to have their children taught their mother tongue in German schools. “In these matters, we would expect changes,” the Prime Minister emphasised.

The head of the Polish government also spoke at length on the situation on the country’s border with Belarus. The Belarusian regime had in recent months taken measures to fly in as many migrants from Africa and the Middle East, with the aim to encourage them to illegally enter the EU through the country’s borders with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.

Prime Minister Morawiecki told the reporters that current events on the Polish-Belarusian border constitute an attempt to destabilise Poland and the EU. He noted that Poland had taken action to control the situation by introducing a state of emergency in a three-kilometre-long strip running along its border with Belarus.

"We need and want to secure the eastern border of the Union even with increased migration pressure. The situation is all the tenser because Russian-Belarusian manoeuvers Zapad-2021 have just started on the other side of the border," noted the head of the Polish government.

When asked about Poland’s position on the EU’s proposed plan on migrant relocation quotas, the Prime Minister said that Poland wants to retain its sovereignty in this matter - in line with the June 2018 European Council resolution saying that there will be no mandatory relocations.