Poland & Germany: the fierce quarrel in the heart of Europe

Poland & Germany: the fierce quarrel in the heart of Europe

Warsaw is determined to end the European electric dipole between Berlin and Paris.

Poland is building an army and wants to play a leading role in the EU, which is why it is fighting Germany on almost all fronts. It is the new vendetta in the heart of Europe, which will perhaps determine its course.

Since the beginning of the year, in eastern Poland, a group of German soldiers has been operating Patriot missile defense systems. This is the largest German military presence in Poland since World War II.

They are there as part of NATO’s efforts to strengthen its eastern flank, but are testing Berlin’s relations with Warsaw, which have been at their worst since the fall of the wall in the German capital, writes the Financial Times.

Warsaw versus Berlin

In fact, their deployment was preceded by a political standoff with Germany rejecting Poland’s request that the Patriots be stationed in Ukraine, rather than on Polish soil.

From the tragedy of the Nazi invasion of Poland, which sparked the last world war in 1939, to Germany’s bitter struggle to have Poland and other former communist states join the EU in 2004, relations between the two countries are essential not only for them, but also for Europe as a whole.

This is especially true now that Western powers want to show unity against the expansionist plans of Vladimir Putin, who by invading Ukraine has also placed Eastern Europe at the center of global geopolitics.

In Germany, however, disillusionment with Poland and its conservative Law and Justice (PiS)-led government, which is using it as a punching bag ahead of the autumn elections, is widespread.

War reparations

Poland has repeatedly accused Germany of delays in delivering military aid to Ukraine and of indifference to its concerns over its economic ties with Russia, as evidenced by the Nord Stream pipelines.

Germany, for its part, responded by pointing out that it is now the world’s third largest arms supplier to Ukraine and that Poland was importing sacks of Russian coal before the war started.

Amid all this, the situation between them is complicated by Poland’s much-discussed legal campaign against Germany over war reparations, while an earlier accusation from Warsaw that Berlin wants to turn the EU into a “Fourth Reich” caused a sensation.

All of the above made Germany feel that for the ruling party in Poland, “winning the elections is infinitely more important than a constructive relationship between them”, notes Jana Pullierin, head of the office of the European Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin.

The triple pole

In Warsaw, again, some opposition politicians fear that this government’s anti-German campaign could harm Poland’s long-term prospects of leading Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction and helping it. to join the EU. candidate country for EU membership last June.

And Warsaw’s difficult game has no end, as he plays with Berlin, but at the same time he is pressuring Brussels for the disbursement of the millions of euros planned for European development aid after the coronavirus pandemic , which were withheld by the European Union Commission due to the controversial reforms that the Warsaw government pushed through in the country’s judicial system.

According to Radoslaw Sikorskim, former foreign minister of Poland and currently a member of the European Parliament with Ukraine, in the European game the center of gravity of the EU is shifting to the east, which practically means that the axis traditional Franco-German leadership will not suffice.

It will take a third pole of power, and if Poland really wants to appropriate it, it will have to settle its relations with both Brussels and Berlin, he explains to the British newspaper.

The economic factor

“I’m afraid that if he doesn’t, Romania, which is half our size, could take Poland’s place because they don’t choose unnecessary matches,” he concluded.

In any case, if politics does not succeed because of great selfishness, the economy can succeed because of important interests.

Germany remains Poland’s biggest trading partner and bilateral trade has grown by 14% in the past difficult year alone. And Mercedes-Benz announced in December the construction of a billion-euro factory to create all-electric trucks in Jawor, in southwestern Poland.

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