The decisions by NATO heads of state and government adopted in Newport (2014) and Warsaw (2016) did much to renew the Alliance’s military credibility. They were the correct reaction, even if viewed by many as too weak, to the threats arising from Russia.
NATO’s Warsaw summit in July 2016 ushered in a new era for the Alliance and the European project. The backdrop itself was historic: NATO allies convened in Poland for a summit for the first time in Alliance history, and did so just weeks following the UK’s historic ‘Brexit’ vote.
Thinking about the enhancement of Poland’s security in the context of its membership of NATO, I look into the future with a great deal of optimism. It is inspired primarily by the outcome of the NATO summit last July, which Poland had the privilege to host.
Przed wejściem w bardziej szczegółowe rozważania o tym, jakiej Unii potrzebujemy, chciałbym podkreślić, że Unii Europejskiej po prostu chcemy. I nie chodzi tu o płytkie postrzeganie jednokierunkowej pomocy w tzw. modernizacji. Takie myślenie, wciąż widoczne w naszym dyskursie publicznym, może tylko zadziwiać po ponad 10 latach członkostwa. Kraj, który słusznie oczekuje podmiotowości, nie może swej roli definiować tylko w kategoriach biorcy.
A key challenge for the European Union today is the risk of institutional disintegration, whether in the political, economic or constitutional dimension. Because of such factors as the financial crisis, Brexit, and problems with border security and integrity, demands for a two-speed Europe have met with approval from some West European elites.
The UK referendum, particularly the outcome, marked a radical watershed in the integration process. For the first time, a majority of the citizens of an EU country, and a populous one at that, had expressed a negative opinion of EU integration.
While just a couple of years ago one would have found it hard to imagine the Old Continent without the European Union, after Brexit this prospect is no longer seen as impossible in the long run. But if the Union survives, as I strongly believe it will, I am positive that the Republic of Poland will be part of it.
The political-military situation in which NATO now functions is particularly complicated. Old threats have acquired new dimensions, and those once regarded as merely theoretical have become quite real. Moreover, such phenomena as globalisation and the development of information systems and military technology have brought new challenges in their wake.
Before entering into a detailed discussion about what sort of Union
Poland needs, let me first emphatically state that Poland does want the
European Union. And I am not referring merely to a perception of one-way
assistance with so-called modernisation. After 10 years of membership,
one cannot help but be surprised by such thinking, still prevalent in
the Polish public discourse. If we rightly expect to be treated as an
independent political actor, we cannot define our role exclusively in
terms of being a recipient.
If European politics was an amusement park, Franco-polish relations would be a roller coaster and a house of mirrors. Over the last three years, bilateral relations between Warsaw and Paris went from one of its highest to one of its lowest points in recent history.