The newly appointed premier replaced Beata Szydlo (pictured), and symbolizes that Poland is taking a more combative posture towards the West than in the past. While Prime Ministers undoubtedly have a very important domestic role to play, too, it’s important not to overlook the international implications of Morawiecki’s appointment, especially given what he shared in his very first interview after the announcement when he said that “My dream is to re-Christianize the EU since, unfortunately, in many places, people no longer sing Christmas carols, the churches are empty and are turning into museums, and this is very sad.” In responding to the interviewer’s comment about how the EU might cut off funding for Poland, Morawiecki proudly said that “I do remember one former president telling us earlier this year ‘you have values, we have funds.’ Well, I would love to help the West with proper values.”
Rhetoric such as this would have been unimaginable a few years ago, but it just goes to show how far the intra-EU split has gone ever since Brussels and Berlin teamed up to pressure the bloc to accept the forced relocation of civilizationally dissimilar migrants. It also speaks to the growing confidence that Poland feels nowadays in officially introducing a conservative-religious ideological vision to challenge the EU’s liberal-godless one, demonstrating how it plans to lead the “Three Seas Initiative” and advance its EuroRealist agenda. Moreover, Morawiecki’s words prove just how strongly Poland and its ruling Law & Justice Party, popularly known by its Polish abbreviation PiS, have been influenced by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (pictured) and his Fidesz party. Hungary may have been the ideological heart of the EuroRealist movement and Orban its first national figurehead in the EU, but Poland is now carrying the torch through Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s “grey cardinal” stewardship because this Central European country is actually big enough to make a real difference.
It was one thing for a landlocked nation of less than 10 million people to have this continental outlook, and another for the leader of the regional “Three Seas Initiative” and its 40 million-strong country to promote this perspective, which makes Poland an EU-wide force to be recognized because of how ideologically different its worldview is from Germany’s. Whereas Berlin will continue pulling the purse strings and exercising its influence through economic means, Warsaw is flexing its soft power muscle by appealing to what matters most to many of the people in Central and Eastern Europe, and that’s the national identity that they fear is under threat because of Germany’s aggressive EuroLiberalism. If Poland can succeed in winning hearts and minds in the region through its religious-conservative EuroRealist ideology, then the next natural step will be to tighten the trading bonds between its “Three Seas” partners in order to generate a stronger economic basis for turning their vision into a reality.
With the right combination of soft and economic power, Poland can return to becoming one of Europe’s Great Powers, but this time with a sway that extends across the strategic “Three Seas” space and enables it to shape the continent’s 21st-century geopolitics.
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