It’s no good Kaczynski and co. complaining that ‘nobody warned us’ that the EU might not like his views on social issues.
The UK Independent reports that Poland’s new president, Lech Kaczynski, might loose Poland its voting rights in the EU. The newspaper says:
“Poland was given a blunt warning over its human rights obligations yesterday - after the election of a president who has sought to curb gay rights and campaigned for the restoration of the death penalty.“
On the election stump, Kaczynski has come across as a bit of a ‘hang ‘em and log ‘em type of politician. He is a populist, playing on fears of rising crime and the Gay Bogey Man, which a few deluded souls here believe is stalking the land, turning innocent young heterosexuals into raving queens.
When Kaczynski banned the Gay Pride march through Warsaw this year and last, human rights groups and EU spokespeople warned that he was breaking several EU obligations, and was going against Poland’s own Constitution.
A spokesman for the EU Commission told the Independent:
“One of the conditions for starting negotiations with a potential candidate country is that the existing death penalty must be abolished. [Kaczynski’s statements on this issue are] considered not to be in line with the basic values on which the EU is based."
Robert Kostro – who advises Polish MEP’s – told Polskie Radio this morning that the claim by the UK Guardian newspaper that the EU Commission is threatening Poland’s voting rights was false, and the Polish side was completely unaware of any such proposal.
“It would be very surprising if the Commission interfered so brutally in the internal matters of another state,” he said.
Oh, really? I know that Lech Kaczynski is not so keen on foreign travel, and that he is as geographically-challenged as his US counterpart, but surely he must of heard of a country called Austria. In 2000 the EU cut bilateral talks with that country after it included the far-right, anti-immigration, Freedom Party in its government.
It could be argued that the EU is trespassing on the internal matters of a sovereign state. But I am sure that Kaczynski, and his band of merry men, have already noticed that the one thing that the EU is really clear about– apart from defending farmers’ rights to get money for sitting around and doing nothing – is defending European standards of human rights.
Criticism from Brussels will bolster Euroscepticism among Kaczynski’s conservative supporters, of course. Which is a shame. Opposition to the EU should not be based on reactionary prejudices.
The merry men are also whispering that the only reason a fuss is being made over Polish human rights issues is because Brussels is worried that Kaczynski will be far more aggressive in defending Poland’s national position in the EU.
But watch how meek the hanging and flogging talk gets when the Polish government – if they have cobbled one together by then - tries to pursuade the EU to agree to the new budget at the special meeting this December. Poland is hoping to receive lots of nice subsidies for its farmers from that little cash-cow.