European Union – Future of the Integration Proccess and the Polish Membership

For Poland and other CEE countries, accession to the EU provided symbolic confirmation of their Europeanness, regained after the period of communist rule. High hopes were accompanied by several concerns and fears, including “dissolution” in the European multicultural space as well as some economic fears. Apart from that, Poland evinced interest in joining the European structures and took the first steps toward transforming its political and economic system. This is how processes of Europeanization overlapped with the democratization and transformation of the political scene. While the political scene was consolidated and the development of stable patterns preceded the EU in the old member states.

Polish politics has always been embedded in history, and one may still experience it in domestic and foreign policy. Some phenomena, such as the tradition of opposing the state as well as the strong position of the Catholic Church, need to be taken into account when discussing contemporary politics. In the first years of transition, the Polish political scene had demonstrated the tendency to lean toward the Right; this trend was also visible previously and was even commented on by Stalin who claimed that “communism suits Poland like a saddle does a cow”. The strong anti-communist approach in society was backed by the Catholic Church, which traditionally supported the opposition and has been perceived as a mainstay of Polish national identity, not only under communism but also throughout history.

The peripheral location and geopolitics of Poland generated the permanent fear of its two great neighbors and “significant others”: Germany and Russia; thus, “the construction of Polish national identity was dominated by the interpretation of history as a process of continuous struggle between those two neighbors”. This has resulted in the strong conviction among citizens that Polish national identity is under constant danger and that there is a need to protect it. That influences also today's discussions regarding the EU. On the other hand substantial financial aid Poland recived in the last years as well as new-international perspectives that opened for the young generation create a contrapunct for the europsceptic views. All these is crucial to an understanding of the nature of Polish politics and are often used in the rhetoric of supporters and opponents of European integration in the 90s but also today. The political communication over the EU integration future and Polish membership is one of the elements that constitute diffrent political camps and core electorates.

Generally speaking the level of trust to the EU and its institutions is one of the distinguisihing features of the centrist Civic Platform (PO), on the opposite, the lowest lewel of trust is one of constitutive features for the conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) supporters. The national identity issue in the context of the EU has been communicated directly and frequently by the both sides. The table below presents an fragments of orginal texts and translation of the political manifestoes of the two main opponent parties Civic Platform and Law and Justice Party where the EU issues were described.

PiS

The second challenge relates to our status in the European Union. These are issues of great importance, that gives a chance for realization of our national interest. Our status in the EU regards questions concerning our relations with Russia, which clearly sought to obtain tacit consent of the authorities of the Union in order to weaken our status in that relations. In brief , EU-Russia agreement applies in relation to our country only to the extent that at any given time is accepted by Russia. We are committed to genuine improvement in relations with Russia , but we will also determination of the total defend a full-fledged character of the Polish membership in the European Union – that would lead Russia to fullfill all obligations arising from its agreement with the Union. The most important issue related to the EU Membership is sovereignty of Poland nation. Law and Justice invariably backes the concept of Europe od sovereign states, and strongly opposes federalist tendencies, we will definitely strive for such changes in the Constitution, which clearly define its overarching nature to all regulations in force in our country, and therefore also against primary and European law, and enable effective control of compliance of applicable law in Poland EU to our constitution . We will strongly oppose the decision , that deepen our dependence on regulation of adopted at EU level in these areas, which have not yet been regulated. Euro zone issue (eg the Euro Plus Pact ) and the sphere of culture and customs. The ultimate exponent of the voluntary nature of membership in the European Union is vested each Member State. It has been confirmed in the Treaty Lisbon , but it is also necessary to establish respective internal procedures . Not he point is that today or in the foreseeable future use of the possibility of - Law and Justice clearly favors for permanent Polish participation in the EU - but rather to confirm the provisions of the Polish constitutional status and statutory indisputable principle of sovereignty, which implies our right to unilaterally decision to withdraw from the Union.

PO

Most of our activities in the field of foreign policy is implemented through the European Union. Effectively pursue our right the state can enter only through skillful our interest in the wider European interest. The European system is constant negotiation process in which the most important is strength of arguments. It is not enough to be right , you still need to convince her partners. Both in the wider international environment , as and in the European Union. Civic Platform knows how to build effective coalitions , how to negotiate and how to convince partners to our right. (...) We believe that the answer to the current crisis and uncertain international environment is "no less, and more Europe" , which is why we support the strengthening of EU institutions as well as closer coordination the economic policies of individual Member States , as well as completion of the single market. Within the Presidency we prepare EU regulations and directives that reinforce economic governance in the Union, and their aim is to secure sustainable Europe before the next crisis ( the so-called six-pack ) . (...) The antidote to fear for Russia is a modern and strong Poland, having a reliable allies , a strong position in the European Union and excellent relationships with its other neighbors in the East. We are convinced that Poland will continue play a key role in shaping the new calculates the European Union. We walked into the circle countries that have influence on the final shape decisions taken in the EU, and this position will effectively well established.