The past few days have seen heated discussions across Europe. Poland has once again become the bane of the European Union. The leaders of the EU have been meeting to discuss opening discussions with Russia (to take place in Helsinki) regarding the energy question. However, Poland vetoed any further EU-Russia negotiations. The country that was supposed to be EU’s “Eastern expert” has now become the spanner in the works, the unruly child, the unreliable element.
Poland is standing firm. The government says that it cannot give the go-ahead to further EU negotiations with its eastern neighbour if Russia continues to ban imports on Polish meat. All this fuss about Polish sausage?
Poland believes Russia is singling it out and treating it differently from the other EU states. Poland also believes the EU has shown its true colours and is not ready to fight for one of their partners. Where is this famous EU solidarity? A similar situation took place with the Baltic states. They soon backed down realising that Russia is a far more important player than they are. But how can this be? How can the EU ignore its own member states? The answer is, of course, green in colour. Money. Money and power. Russia’s massive potential (especially in energy) is a far more important factor in any future EU relations than Poland’s unruliness.
There is no solidarity in the EU and I’m pretty convinced there never will be. I actually hope Poland stand firm and test the Union to its limits. Negotiation is, no doubt, the key to diplomacy, but this over-bureaucratic institution needs to be fundamentally tested. When it comes down to the nitty-gritty is the EU ready to stand as one? This, I believe, will be a benchmark and tell us all we need to know about the future of the EU Constitution and a future United States of Europe.
Or we’ll see Poland back down…