Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has accused ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) of endangering the very existence of Europe with his pro-Russian policies. In a speech in Heidelberg on the future of Europe, Morawiecki emphasized the importance of nation states and warned against further centralization of the EU.
“It is a failure not to listen to the voices of countries that were right about Putin. It means giving power to people like Gerhard Schröder, who have made Europe dependent on Russia and put the whole continent in existential danger," Morawiecki said.
Schröder is considered a close friend of Russia's President Vladimir Putin and was active for Russian energy companies for years - his involvement unusually began shortly after the end of his political career. Poland's national conservative PiS government had spoken out against the construction of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline for years. She always warned that Russia could thereby increase Europe's dependence on its gas supplies and put current transit countries under pressure. Germany halted the Nord Stream 2 project in February, two days before the Russian attack on Ukraine.
At the end of September 2022, a total of four leaks in the two pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2 were discovered after explosions near the Danish Baltic Sea island of Bornholm. The authorities assume sabotage. It is unclear who is responsible for this.
In his speech, Morawiecki also described the existence of nation states and the preservation of their identity as crucial for a modern Europe. Nothing in Europe can guarantee the freedom of nations, their culture and their military security better than the nation states themselves, Morawiecki said in a speech on the future of Europe in Heidelberg on Monday. "Other systems would be an illusion or a utopia." It is a mistake to strive for a European superstate, as some bureaucrats in Brussels wanted. “The basis of our identity lies in our national identity. And not in denying our identity.”
Morawiecki warned against "alignment" within the EU. "If the EU elites stubbornly insist on the vision of a centralized superstate, they will encounter resistance from other European nations, and the more they insist, the more violent the rebellion will be," said the national conservative politician.
Of course it is possible to support nations through organizations such as the EU. But nation states could never be replaced. Morawiecki emphasized that they are indispensable, especially in times of political crises, also with a view to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. In the past, too, it has been proven how efficiently individual states have acted - for example in the fight against the corona pandemic. Any system that ignores the sovereignty of individual nations or their will will sooner or later end up in tyranny or utopia, he predicted.
"Kick-off Politics" is WELT's daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, among others, or directly via RSS feed.