France’s president has warned Poland is isolating itself within the European Union and that its people deserve better.
President Macron said the Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party — a nationalist and Eurosceptic government — is causing Warsaw to move in the opposite direction of the rest of Europe.
Poland dismissed the accusations, branding Macron inexperienced and arrogant.
‘Europe is a region created on the basis of values, a relationship with democracy and public freedoms which Poland is today in conflict with,’ said President Macron.
Poland dismissed the accusations, branding Macron (left) inexperienced and arrogant. ‘I advise the president that he should be more conciliatory … Perhaps his arrogant comments are a result of a lack of experience’, said Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo (right)
French President Emmanuel Macron, center, his wife Brigitte, left and Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev pose during a welcome ceremony and prior their meeting, at the Euxinograd residence outside Varna, Bulgaria.
He said Poland’s unwillingness to budge on the EU’s revised directive on ‘posted’ workers — cheap labourers from eastern countries who are posted temporarily to more affluent nations — is a mistake that leads to unfair competition.
The French president added: ‘In no way will the decision by a country that has decided to isolate itself in the workings of Europe jeopardize the finding of an ambitious compromise.’
In a scathing attack that could worse relations with the Western Powers and EU Commission and Poland, he said the Polish people deserved better.
Poland’s Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, right, talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Warsaw
Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, pictured right with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, said former banker Macron, 39, lacked political experience and accused him of undermining the EU
Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, left with Law and Justice leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, said former banker Macron, 39, lacked political experience and accused him of undermining the EU
‘Poland is not defining Europe’s future today and nor will it define the Europe of tomorrow,’ Macron said at a joint press conference with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev in the Black Sea resort city of Varna
In response, Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said former banker Macron, 39, lacked political experience and accused him of undermining the EU.
‘I advise the president that he should be more conciliatory … Perhaps his arrogant comments are a result of a lack of experience,’ Szydlo said.
‘I advise the president that he should focus on the affairs of his own country. Perhaps he may be able to achieve the same economic results and the same level of security for citizens as those guaranteed by Poland.’
Ms Szydlo’s comments were an indirect reference to the Polish government’s refusal to accept migrants from the Middle East who are considered a threat to national security.
The Polish Foreign Ministry has urgently summoned the French chargé d’affaires to express ‘the Polish government’s indignation’ about Macron’s ‘arrogant words’.
It quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Marek Magierowski as saying Poland ‘expects that France will abandon language that is divisive and which damages the unity of the EU’.
THE GROWING DIVED BETWEEN POLAND AND THE REST OF THE EU
The legal reforms have triggered mass street protests in Poland and raised fears for the rule of law in one of the EU’s leading eastern former communist states
Relations between Szydlo’s Law and Justice (PiS) party and the French government deteriorated soon after it won election in late 2015.
In October 2016, Poland abruptly canceled a nearly $4 billion military procurement deal with Airbus.
Macron’s election deepened the rift, with the French globalization advocate fanning worries in Warsaw that his vision of a ‘multi-speed’ Europe would undermine Polish influence within the European Union.
French officials have expressed concerns about Poland, and Hungary, drifting towards authoritarianism.
They added Macron would make a defense of the rule of law and democratic principles a priority of his mandate on the European stage.
People gather for candle lit protest in front of the Supreme Court in Warsaw, Poland to demonstrate against proposed court reforms
During his three-day tour the French president has sought backing for plans to tighten rules on employing foreign workers from poorer nations – an idea strongly opposed by Poland.
This is despite ‘posted’ workers making up fewer than 1 percent of the total EU workforce.
Poland is at loggerheads with the European Commission over its refusal to accept EU migrant relocation quotas and the ruling conservatives’ tightening grip on the judiciary and media.
The country’s major cities were filled with protesters in recent months who are opposed to the proposed reforms.
In July, President Andrzej Duda announced he would veto two controversial new laws that were passed by the Polish parliament.