Monday, May 27, 2024
European Union

EU blackmail. It’s either principles or rainbow money

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Any act of insubordination to the expectations of EU commissioners and even the craziest rulings of the European courts could be punished in the future by withdrawal of funds. This is what the road to a federal Europe will look like.

Tomasz Rowiński

After five voivodeships, under pressure from EU institutions threatening to withdraw funds from the Cohesion Fund in the fall of 2021, withdrew from resolutions emphasizing the special role of the family in the Polish social and constitutional order, there was a waiting phase in the ideological war being waged against Poland. However, this does not mean that nothing has happened since then. On the contrary, it is increasingly clear that the topic of the political agenda of the homosexual movement or gender ideology will be used against Poland, and probably to an ever-increasing extent.

This tendency is not at all surprising, given that genderism has become the main tool in Brussels documents for interpreting the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and consequently human rights within the community. A distinctive feature of this approach is that it ties the principle of equality to a heteronomous understanding of such realities as marriage, family, or even the person. Thus, if someone wants to value natural marriage, a family in which children are conceived from the relationship between a man and a woman, then from the perspective of the interpretation of European institutions – not only EU ones, after all – that person is exemplifying a discriminatory attitude. It doesn’t matter that it’s absurd to claim that there could be a marriage other than that between a man and a woman, that the concept of socio-cultural gender particularly hurts the maturing, identity-challenged youth. It is important that ideas constructed in this way turn out to be an excellent tool for cultural colonization and political influence on what are more unruly states.

Someone might be surprised by this, but the pro-family policy of Polish local governments is under attack on the basis of the following provision, found in Regulation 2021/1060, which defines the rules of operation of the Cohesion Fund: “Member States and the Commission should aim at eliminating inequalities and at promoting equality between men and women and integrating the gender perspective, as well as at combating discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. The Funds should not support actions that contribute to any form of segregation or exclusion, and, when financing infrastructure, should ensure the accessibility for persons with disabilities.”

Harassed local governments

As early as May 2021, during meetings that EU representatives held with provincial representatives, one of the officials, Maria Galewska, was said to have expressed the opinion, as reported by the OKO.press portal, that there were “serious doubts that Poland is able to meet the condition of compliance […] with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which could result in the blocking of all funds, and therefore no reimbursement of expenditure to date”. Adopting the Brussels rules for interpreting the European Union’s fundamental rights, also the Polish Constitution in Article 18, which speaks of marriage as a union between a man and a woman under the special protection and guardianship of the Republic, could turn out to be a discriminatory document. Given that the list of “milestones” that Poland was supposed to meet in order to receive funds under the plan to rebuild the country after the social restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic included a commitment to amend the Polish Parliament’s procedural regulations, which is a kind of “small constitution” of the Polish democratic system, we should not feel surprised if someday the Republic’s basic law, too, will be challenged by emissaries of the Brussels empire.

Dozens of Polish local governments, despite the harassment they face, still stand by their pro-family stance expressed in resolutions adopted in the form of the Local Government Charter on Family Rights or other similar ones. As a result, the disbursement of some €72 billion is now at risk, and it does not appear that this money will be able to reach the Polish regions without perplexity. This is because in the new partnership agreements concluded in connection with the implementation of the EU budget for 2021-2027, a hitherto unknown so-called “horizontal basic condition” has appeared. It concerns the realization of the values contained in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, which are treated as part of securing the budget.

The main article concerning anti-discrimination in the CFR reads as follows, very similar to the content of the excerpt from the regulation cited above: “Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, color, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.”

If one were to interpret this kind of provision according to the order that the Polish Constitution implements on the territory of Poland, it would not even occur to anyone that a declaration of protection, particularly valuable social institutions such as marriage and family, could be treated in a discriminatory key. What’s more, if one treats the political demands of the homosexual circles as detrimental to the constitutional order, opposition to them must be considered an appropriate way of fulfilling the well-understood interests of the Polish state, as well as Polish self-government. Since our constitution recommends special protection of marriage by the state, it means that it excludes the possibility of introducing in Poland, for example “homosexual marriages”, which constitute, after all, an important demand within the LGBT ideology. This is something the European institutions can no longer bear.

Morality and corruption

The clash between the order that prevails in public morality in Poland and the proposals coming from Brussels might seem inevitable, but it is mitigated by the corrupt actions of EU representatives. At the local level, they are forcing declarations on local government officials that practically imply recognition of the superiority of Brussels’ interpretations of the CFR over the Polish constitutional order, the recognition of which, after all, local government officials wanted to strengthen through adopted resolutions. “We want the programs to include a clear provision that will ensure that the proposals made by local authorities that have adopted such resolutions are incompatible with the fundamental values of the Treaty on European Union,” – two representatives of the European Commission attending a meeting of the Convention of Marshals of the Republic of Poland said on April 7th. It’s hard to resist the bad impression that this is reminiscent of the 18th century rule of ambassadors in Warsaw1, except that for now it concerns the local level.

Inevitably, however, the problem may move to the level of the entire state. If such a process is set in motion, it will happen, unfortunately, as a result of Poland’s agreement to the conditionality mechanism, which came into force together with the ratification of the NRP. Today, this mechanism is being exercised on our state in the area of the judiciary, where pressure is being exerted for Poland to relinquish its own sovereignty in the field of reforming its own institutions. Tomorrow, however, this mechanism may be used in any case where Polish legal solutions will not conform to the EU’s interpretation of human rights. For example, it may turn out that a condition for receiving any funds under the EU mechanisms will be the legalization of “marriage equality”, that is, the institutionalization of same-sex unions as marriages or quasi-marriages called “partnerships”.

It is most evident that the European Commission has finally found an effective tool to bypass the treaties and continually expand the scope of both its power and the power of other European institutions over EU member states. These are, first and foremost, the rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), both of which are ready to continually shift the interpretation of any law to the left in accordance with the ideological expectations of the EC. In case anyone asked – yes, the rulings of the CJEU and ECHR are taken into account as one of the bases for the operation of the conditionality mechanism, whose main function – this is probably no surprise – a remains the protection of the EU budget. And Poland has agreed to this.

Poland in a trap

Unfortunately – as can be seen from the NRP – as a country we have found ourselves in a trap from which we are looking for a way out in vain. Any act of insubordination to the expectations of the EU commissioners and even the craziest rulings of the European courts (the authority of which, it is worth remembering, stems from an unknown source) can be punished in the future through a refusal to provide community funds. The processes we are observing are first and foremost an attempt by the EU “center of command” to politically subordinate the countries of Eastern Europe; this is how the path to a federal Europe will be shaped. The problem is that the stake in this game, even more serious than political sovereignty, is preservation or devastation of the Polish legal acquis in the field of social life.

For now, it seems, the activists of the Campaign against Homophobia, who are engaged in the issue of the new form of partnership agreements within the framework of cohesion funds, are right – money wins out over principles. How else to comment on the fact that last autumn Waldemar Buda, the Deputy Minister of Funds and Regional Policy – today the Minister of Development and Technology – suggested that local governments ought to change the contents of the adopted resolutions [in line with the expectations stemming from EU “principles”]? There can only be one explanation: part of the ruling camp would be happy to leave idealistic local government officials in the lurch. Perhaps, then, it would have been better to warn them in advance that they should not count on the political support of the ruling party for their efforts as soon as difficulties arise on a wider scale – and when such support is no longer needed in the ad hoc mobilization of public emotions?

“There is no doubt that no reasonable person would insist on leaving the resolutions in place if millions are at stake for hospital renovations, school retrofitting and helping those who need it most” – a Campaign Against Homophobia activist commented on the issue, but these words may as well have been spoken by any of the “rational” politicians on the right. Unfortunately, things seem to be heading in that direction.

1 A reference to Russian ambassadors and deputies who exercised real power in Poland and Lithuania during the years 1762-1793 (with a break from 1790-1792), acting on instructions sent from St. Petersburg. They had an overwhelming influence on the king, who, at their request and with their approval, appointed to offices and distributed positions of authority in local governments to people they designated.

This article was published in October 2022 in “Do Rzeczy” – a Polish weekly magazine.