Robert Harneis –TDO- (FRANCE) Support for the Polish government is at a record high, following a dispute with the EU over the forced acceptance of immigrants. Despite a European Court of Justice ruling the Polish government has said that it will never accept an allocation of immigrants under the EU scheme and has been threatened with losing its voting rights in the EU parliament.
The European Commission is in a dilemma. If they do nothing they will lose authority and encourage other states to ignore their rulings. If they punish Poland they fear they will reinforce anti- European sentiment.
Their fears are justified. A recent public opinion poll shows that politically this uncompromising stance is paying off for the Polish government. It has never been more popular. 43% of respondents said they supported the Law and Justice party, the highest ever since they came to power in 2015. Only 30% said they were critical of the government, down 4% in the last month.
Prime Minister Beata Szydło’s approval rating is at 52%. She appears to be riding a high after an ongoing row with the EU has been publicly drawn out over the last few months.
Despite her provocative statements demanding trillions in reparations from Germany for damage caused during the Second World war and calling French President Macron ‘arrogant and inexperienced’ she has made it clear that her government has no intention of leaving the EU. In her recent annual address to Poland’s ambassadors, she said ‘I want to be very clear here. The government will never agree to talk or think about Poland leaving the European Union,’.
Szydło claimed that the European Union was ‘at a turning point’ after Britain’s decision to leave the bloc. The Brexit decision ‘closes a chapter in the history of the European project’. She went on to say that Poland had become an active participant in the debate on the future of the European Union.
She added that some EU member states were being ‘treated in a way that could undermine the basic principles of the bloc’s functioning, such as solidarity.’
The Prime Minsiter said she hoped the European Union would reach an agreement on the relocation of migrants. The problem of refugees should be solved at its source, she said, declaring that Poland was ready to take part in such EU efforts.
At the same time, she said her government would not agree to any compulsory relocations, especially as she argued ‘the current trends’ show that economic migrants are more numerous than refugees among those arriving on Europe's shores.