14:58 GMT09 April 2020
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    Poland’s new government is seeking to undermine the influence of Brussels, Germany and Russia in favour of the US and NATO, warned the German press on Saturday.

    The European Commission is alarmed by the authoritarian reforms the Polish government is making to the media and constitutional court. Warsaw’s newly-elected populist regime is seeking to lessen the influence of Brussels in favour of dependence on the US and NATO, German Economic News (DWN) reported on Saturday.

    Vice-President of the EU Commission Frans Timmermans wrote to Poland’s Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski last week about Poland’s reforms to public service broadcasters, which the country had rebranded “national cultural institutions” as part of a move to assume greater control over their activities.

    Timmermans warned that moves to strengthen state control over the media would contravene certain areas of EU law and reminded the Polish government of “the need to promote the diversity of the media.” 

    The letter was referred to at the Commission as a “wake-up call” for Warsaw, where the parliament nevertheless voted to pass the media law and reforms to the constitutional court in spite of popular protests earlier this month. At a meeting on January 13, the Commission is set to further discuss the actions of Poland’s new government.

    In addition to ignoring the pleas from Brussels, Poland’s new president is intent on gaining further support from the US and NATO, DWN wrote, referring to comments Andrzej Duda made to the Financial Times in August, in which he asked for Poland and other central European countries to be considered “the real flank of NATO,” and consequently be home to NATO bases.

    'The new Europe: Poland wants more USA and less EU,' reported DWN on Saturday.

    “The interests of the Law and Justice party (PiS) are consistent with the US defense industry and NATO,” wrote the newspaper, referring to an ideological basis for Poland’s turn away from Europe, Germany, and Russia, towards NATO and the US.

    “They follow an old idea, which goes back to the time of the legendary Polish leader Jozef Pilsudski after the First World War, the so-called ‘Intermarium’ concept, which originated in the aim to prevent an alliance between Germany and Russia by drawing a strong belt across Eastern Europe.”

    “In this case, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria belong in the envisaged belt. Further components which should be joined to the belt in order to encircle Russia in the West are Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia.”

    “Ukraine should also be included in the Intermarium – but without its East.”

    “The Intermarium is supposed to prevent a dominant Russia and a dominant Germany, as well as a combination of the two. This in turn is precisely the foreign policy doctrine of the US military, whose main goal is the prevention of an axis between Russia and Germany,” a doctrine which provides the background for sanctions against Russia.

    “The PiS can, with a new form of the Intermarium concept, achieve [a second objective] – it can emancipate itself from Brussels,” wrote DWN, pointing to further disagreements with the EU during negotiations over Europe’s refugee crisis, when Warsaw refused EU quotas and requested to take only Christian refugees, not Muslims.

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    NATO, foreign policy, European Commission, European Union, United States, Europe, Poland
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