EU Tusk Affair: Poland Is No UK

The new generation in Poland, born and raised in freedom, is absolutely worth watching – it is they, contrary to the popular narrative, and not the retirees, who swayed the last electoral cycle: the young, who don’t watch traditional TV, get their news from independent web outlets, and remain impervious to the charms of the internationalist cabal’s siren calls.

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By Anna Wellisz l March 28, 2017

EU Tusk AffairJarosław Kaczyński of the eurosceptic Law and Justice party surrounded by Polish youth in 2015

Poland, unfortunately, is no UK; the leverage does not compare, and neither do the stakes in the exit scenario. Not surprisingly, then, the Polish government favors not “Polexit” but “less Europe” – European Unity with more sovereignty for member states. Meanwhile, the EU under Donald Tusk insists on more Europe, stubbornly refusing to heed the Brexit warning and feeding the bloc’s euro-sceptic jitters. From the Polish government perspective, opposition to its former prime minister Donald Tusk’s reelection for European Council president was understandable, but it should have been argued more intelligently — by raising objections over the issue of incompetence (his legacy so far: EU disintegration from within and migrant invasion from without), and not over Poland’s hurt feelings, not over domestic score settling.

Nominating a new candidate for the post from Tusk’s own Civic Platform party because of Tusk’s poor performance as the EU’s top executive was a smart “divide et impera” move — and it worked — but it should have been a play, not a plan.

Tusk’s prolonged stay in Brussels — and his inevitable continued failure as EU’s CEO — has always been preferable to his return to Poland, especially now, with the opposition in Poland suffering a massive, corruption-inflicted leadership crisis. The last thing the government needed was to supply that opposition with a white knight to rally and unite the domestic enemy, so articulating the objections against Tusk and withholding Poland’s support was the thing to do.

But instead of a smart diplomatic move, Poland opted for an earnest and childishly naive campaign to unseat that puppet, leaving itself no room to save face. Writing pathetic public pleas for support to allies, whom the Polish government had been treating as inferior regional partners, backfired: the slighted Baltics and V-4 took this opportunity to show Poland that it is not, after all, primus inter pares, but just an insignificant and unpopular black sheep in the family.

The diplomatic consequences of this fiasco are very real: The unity of V-4 is visibly broken, which strengthens the centralizing forces in the EU and weakens the “less Europe” camp; the Hungary-Poland deal in the EU Parliament to protect each other with vetoes from the bloc’s authoritarian whims is uncertain at best; Poland’s position as a broker in EU-UK divorce negotiations — and the leverage that came with it — is gone; publicly humiliated, the Polish government is weakened at home. Critics are right: heads must roll. High time for real diplomacy — having a strategy and executing it, some behind the scenes and some publicly, without paper trail, and ALWAYS with a plan B handy.

Of course, throughout the debacle the EU was, once again, exposed as an anti-democratic collusion of the eternal bureaucrats defeating the outcomes of elections in member countries and imposing their own will over the will of the voters. What else is new? After all, the revolt against the unelected, over-reaching officers of globalist utopia is precisely what the recent and pending elections on both sides of the Atlantic are all about. Meanwhile, Poland has to start behaving like a mature and independent country, act with calm dignity instead of desperation, and have a — gasp! — grand strategy and implement it with patience and self-discipline. Why not try competent execution and political efficacy instead of impotent and infantile self-indulgence?

As it stands now, Tusk is not a candidate of any member state, certainly not Poland. He is simply a consensus candidate of the power usurpers ensconced in Brussels, all the better from the EU’s perspective because the politically incorrect Polish government cannot stand him. Ironically, this outcome could have been a diplomatic victory for Poland, a fact not lost on the younger Poles.

The new generation in Poland, born and raised in freedom, is absolutely worth watching, – it is they, contrary to the popular narrative, and not the retirees, who swayed the last electoral cycle: the young, who don’t watch traditional TV, get their news from independent web outlets, find no shame in being Polish, and remain impervious to the charms of the internationalist cabal’s siren calls. It’s quite a broad spectrum, too, from patriotic – if at times crude – soccer fans to the sophisticated, feisty, multi-lingual contingent of young Poles, educated in Poland and abroad, social media-savvy, and proud of who they are. They are particularly promising.


Anna Wellisz is a communications strategist and a volunteer based in Washington, D.C. She taught literature, persuasive writing, and communications at UC Berkeley, DeVry University, and the Keller Graduate School of Management. Her pieces appeared in Glaukopis, Taki's Magazine, Annals Australasia, and the Wall Street Journal. She is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis of the Online-Conservative-Journalism Center at the Washington-based Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research.