“Dear Enlighteners, you have lost. It’s up to us to play now ”

SEEN FROM ELSEWHERE – Andrzej Zybertowicz, an eclectic intellectual who is free to choose his sources of thought, is one of the main theorists of sovereignty in power in Poland.


Andrzej Zybertowicz: “I don't think we should throw them in the trash.  I'm talking about the disenchantment of the Enlightenment. ”
Andrzej Zybertowicz:
“I don’t think we should throw them in the trash. I’m talking about the disenchantment of the Enlightenment. ”
©Photo Josse/Leemage /

Par Wlodek Goldkorn (The Republic)

A 66-year-old sociologist, Andrzej Zybertowicz has a long history as a Marxist and now works as an adviser to the current Polish head of state, Andrzej Duda. In reality, Andrzej Zybertowicz, an eclectic intellectual and liberated in the choice of his sources of thought, is one of the main theorists of sovereignty in power in Poland.

During the tough negotiations that we engaged for him to grant us this interview (to a journalist positioning himself on the side of his adversaries and for a leftist newspaper: no comment therefore, a simple series of questions and answers), he insisted that he was “agnostic”. Several years ago, he published a book called The suicide of the Enlightenment? in collaboration with a group of researchers. According to this book, the world is going too fast and must be stopped in its mad rush. In the meantime, we exalt the old, the known, the sure, namely God, the Fatherland and the Family.

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Presidential election in Poland – a defeat for conservative PiS politics

In the election of a president in Poland, the national conservative incumbent Andrzej Duda missed the absolute majority. He now has to face a runoff election against a liberal in two weeks.

In the presidential election in Poland, the national conservative incumbent Andrzej Duda missed the absolute majority required for re-election, according to initial forecasts. He now has to face a runoff election against opposition candidate Rafal Trzaskowski in two weeks. Duda won 41.8 percent of the vote, Trzaskowski 30.4 percent.

Voter turnout was high despite the corona pandemic. By 5 p.m., almost 48 percent of those entitled to vote had cast their vote, the election commission announced in Warsaw on Sunday. In the 2015 presidential election, the total turnout was around 49 percent at the end of the day.

Duda thanked his voters in Lowicz for the support on Sunday evening. It is important that the country is run as the majority of the population wants it, said Duda with cheers from his followers. He congratulated his challenger Trzaskowski on his success.

Trzaskowski said to supporters in Warsaw that the result shows that a high percentage of Poles want to switch. “We still have a chance to win.” The second round of elections will decide whether Poland will get a president who will closely watch the government or someone who will not respect his own signature.

A kind of referendum on the politics of the PiS

The election was also considered a kind of referendum on the politics of the PiS, which has been the president since 2015 and has an absolute majority in parliament. A second term in Duda would underpin the party’s power monopoly until the next general election in 2023.

The office of Polish President is not purely representative, the President has extensive powers and can not only veto laws, but also initiate his own legislative initiatives.

Trzaskowski represents the largest opposition alliance, the liberal-conservative coalition (KO). His victory in the second round could mean that the PiS can expect the president to exercise his veto right and stop the initiatives in almost all legislative proposals. Trzaskowski has already announced that he intends to reverse PiS’s controversial judicial reform.

The election was originally scheduled for May 10th. Since public life was practically crippled due to the corona pandemic, the date was postponed after a violent political dispute. Special protection regulations applied in the polling stations on Sunday. In the center of Warsaw, people with face masks stood in line in front of the polling stations because only a limited number of people were allowed in the rooms. Disinfectants were ready at the entrance, the election workers wore gloves and transparent face shields. Voters were required to make their crosses with their own pen.


The Polish president wins, but it is not enough for …

The results of the presidential elections in Poland gave a boost to the aspirations of the liberal Rafal Trazkowski, who will come strong in the second round to challenge the candidate for reelection, the far-right president Andrzej Duda. The polls at the ballot box that the local media released at the end of the elections give Duda the victory with 41.8 percent of the votes, while the centrist Trzaskowski would rise with 30.4 percent of suffrages. Meanwhile, the announcement of the official results is scheduled for Monday morning. By not exceeding 50 percent of the votes, the two candidates for the presidency will have to face off in a second round that is presumed to be very contested and in which the opposition leader and current mayor of Warsaw could win.

In a first reaction from the official bunker, President Duda thanked citizens for their participation and recalled that during his term he had made “difficult decisions”, although these are rewarded with an improvement in his electoral performance: 41.8 per percent compared to 34.7 percent obtained in 2015 in the first round. The public, among various Polish flags, cheered him to the cry of “Poland is here!”, Booing Trzaskowski when the president congratulated him on his good results.

The liberal candidate, meanwhile, appeared in Warsaw to celebrate the preliminary figures. “With these results, one can go and fight for Poland,” Trazkowski said optimistically. According to polls published before the presidential elections, both candidates would be practically tied in the second round, in which the opposition leader could win by a few tenths of an advantage.

Trzaskowski, rising star of the liberal center Civic Platform party, now feels capable of a success that no one predicted a month ago, when the government was forced to postpone the elections, originally scheduled for May 10, due to the coronavirus. . The decisive factor will be the behavior of the supporters of the other nine presidential candidates who were eliminated in this first round.

Participation in these elections, which is around 62.9 percent according to the first polls, contrasts with the presidential elections of 2015, in which only 50 percent of the qualified Poles voted, and points to a mobilization of the electorate unhappy with the authoritarian drift of the Law and Justice Party (PiS), represented by President Duda.

In the 2019 legislatures, the PiS lost control of the Senate, so an opposition victory in the presidential elections would be a second blow to a party that, according to analysts, is not used to institutionality. In the Polish semi-presidential system, the head of state has, among other powers, the ability to veto the approval of laws that are manifestly contrary to the rule of law. In that sense, Trzaskowski could put a brake on PiS attempts to exercise unfettered control over all institutions.

With deeply nationalistic rhetoric, Duda places himself in the orbit of the Visegrad Four, community states that like Hungary reject what they consider to be Brussels interference in internal matters, such as the relationship between government and institutions. The followers of the president do not only appreciate his profile as a good Catholic and family man, instead, the social measures approved under his mandate, such as child benefits or a rise in the minimum wage, stand out.

For his part, Trzaskowski promises to strengthen ties with the European Union. Although the economic liberalism his party flaunted in the past cast doubt on the center left, in a campaign that focused on values ​​and freedoms, Trzaskowski now emerges as the perfect antithesis of Duda. So, While the ultra-conservative charged against “LGBT ideology”, which he conceives as a threat to the traditional family, the mayor of Warsaw last year signed an anti-discrimination declaration, and openly defends the right to gay marriage.


Polish miners speak out against Duda before presidential election

“We tell you very clearly: We are not so afraid of the virus. Rather, we fear for our jobs! ”The three buddies Jakub, Marek and Oskar agree on this question. Poland’s largest metropolitan area, the industrial district in Upper Silesia, has been the country’s largest corona infection center since May. It hit the coal mines in particular, where 60,000 miners still work underground in the sweat of their faces. Several stopped funding temporarily.

Gerhard Gnauck

Political correspondent for Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania based in Warsaw.

In the past, the three buddies, who all have families and two or three children, went shopping in the neighboring Czech Republic at the weekend (in Poland, the government introduced non-trading Sunday). This is no longer possible: the Czech Republic opened the border as part of the Corona easing, but not for travelers from Upper Silesia. First communion, confirmation, the final exam at school, all dates have slipped. Poland had a total of 33,395 Corona cases, including 1,429 deaths, as of Friday. A good third of the infections and almost a quarter of the dead are in this region, although it only makes up one eighth of the population of Poland.

Jakub – 38 years old, 17 years working underground – is no longer afraid of the virus; it has already attacked him. On May 30th it was tested positive. Jakub and his two colleagues are sitting near Sorau (Żory) in front of his family house in the garden. He himself wears a mouth-nose cover with a martial skull motif. At that time he had headaches, exhaustion, a decrease in taste and smell for about ten days. “I’m feeling better now,” he says, “but I haven’t been officially tested as healthy yet. So I have to keep sitting in isolation here at home. Otherwise there are fines: up to 30,000 złoty. ”That would be several average monthly wages.

The miners Oskar, Jakub and Marek in June near Sohrau

Jakub was recently tested again and then called the test laboratory. He was told under the hand that he was negative. But no one answers the phone at the overloaded sanitary authority (Sanepid), which would have to give its stamp. “Some colleagues get up at three or four in the morning to call there,” Oskar complains. “I myself tried to call a thousand times without success!”

Upper Silesia, largely German territory until World War II, is a special region in Poland. The ethnically mixed population here was largely not expelled after 1945 and has retained its regional consciousness. In the rest of Poland, however, there is mistrust and prejudice against the Upper Silesians. “During the Corona crisis, this increased drastically again, even on social media,” the mates tell bitterly. “And then we are drawn to the fact that Poland must subsidize Upper Silesia. We are the milking cow here in Poland. “

The church of Sohrau in June

Marek Sękowski, Chairman of the Jedność (Unit) union in the JSW mining group, added: “This propaganda against our region is always started up when a mine is to be closed again. President Duda promised to preserve the mines years ago. But no government has closed as many mines as this one. In addition, it imports cheap coal from Russia. It is also harder than ever to represent workers’ interests. Now all that matters is whether you have good connections to the governing party PiS. ”Marek himself was – due to his commitment, as he says – disciplinarily dismissed. “The process is ongoing. So far, I’ve won all the lawsuits in court. ”

Jakub, the man with the mask, also strikes a combative tone. Under his jacket, he wears a T-shirt with the words of Lech Wałęsa, the founding father of the Polish trade union movement and Nobel Peace Prize winner: “Dying better than living on your knees.”

Who will the buddies choose on Sunday? The three push around. Jakub did not request a postal vote because he believed he could soon leave the house again as a negative test – so he will not be able to vote. Before the last election five years ago, Duda was popular with miners, Jakub says. And those who voted for him then, who will they vote for this time? Jakub names two: Krzysztof Bosak and Marek Jakubiak, both candidates still to the right of Duda and the ruling PiS. The buddies agree on one thing: President Duda and the PiS party book economy must go. Marek concludes: “Nobody divided the people like this party and this president.”


Even BER airport plays a role (neue-deutschland.de)

Relations with neighboring Germany have traditionally been an issue in Polish election campaigns. By Stephan Fischer

The PiS camp is becoming increasingly nervous given the polls ahead of Sunday’s Polish presidential election. ‘You fear defeat. They are panicking, «Stanislaw Mocek, the rector of the private college Collegium Civitas in Warsaw, comments on the development. In addition, relations with Germany’s larger neighbor, almost traditionally, play an important role in the election campaign. Even the Berlin capital city airport BER, which now appears to be opening in autumn 2020, has recently been an issue.

In one of the last commercials before the first round of elections on June 28, incumbent Andrzej Duda attacked his strongest challenger, the Mayor of Warsaw Rafał Trzaskowski of the bourgeois opposition coalition “Citizens’ Coalition”: “Your thing is the airport in Berlin,” says the German chancellor Angela Merkel in the next shot says “Thank you!” Trzaskowski had repeatedly spoken out against the PiS’s expansion plans for the country’s most important airport, just seven kilometers southwest of the city center of Warsaw, which is named after the composer and national saint Frédéric Chopin. The Mayor of Warsaw sees gigantomania at work, and also doubts that another air traffic hub could be operated economically only around 500 kilometers east of Berlin.

The German map, at least easy to allude to, has a tradition especially at PiS, which emphasizes in its history policy an antagonism both to Russia and to Germany. This mainly takes place in the dispute over possible reparations by Germany for the unspeakable suffering and destruction during the Second World War. In the run-up to this election, the figure of around 750 billion euros was launched, which was calculated by a commission of the Polish parliament Sejm. But this shows once again that the historical policy, which mainly feeds from the past, collides with the networked interests of the present: The demand for reparations to Germany is almost certainly never finalized, because the demand itself is far too valuable for others Election campaigns is. It seems economically more tangible, for example, that Volkswagen is moving parts of its commercial vehicle production from Hanover to Polish plants.

To build a memorial for the Polish victims of National Socialism in Berlin is a requirement that does not only come from the ranks of the PiS. On the contrary, most recently Duda’s predecessor, Bronisław Komorowski, said that this could be a “clever form of memory”: to remember the terrible and difficult nature of German-Polish relations, but also to make it clear that both countries have managed to do this Fate to turn. How beautiful it can look was seen on the Oder in mid-June: out of joy at seeing you again after a long break due to the corona-related border closures, Frankfurt’s Mayor René Wilke (left) fell into his arms with his counterpart Mariusz Olejniczak from Słubice instead of just as planned to be welcomed by elbow contact.


Poland between the Virus and choice: “The PiS is harmful”

“In 1989 when the communism went down, I was one of the beneficiaries.” The entrepreneur Wojciech has a good laugh. He sits with his wife, Marie, who comes from Germany, in front of his house on the outskirts of Krakow, and looking in the large garden. The house stands on an ancient piece of Land that already belonged to Wojciechs family. Those who live this way, to fear the pandemic barely. Wojciech power to create rather his hip surgery, he has a new joint use.

Gerhard Gnauck

Political correspondent for Poland, the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, based in Warsaw.

The Pole is Born in 1963, and when communism went under, he was able to start. At the time, he was studying sociology. He took advantage of the in Western Europe, the newly-created scholarships for citizens of the former Eastern bloc – “I have to thank the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to” – and completed a Business course in Scotland. But before he had always acted with anything or in West Germany worked seasonally.

Working abroad was formative

“Three things have shaped me,” says Wojciech, “my parents’ house, the boy scouts and working abroad.” With two fellow students he founded later a company that operates today in three divisions: buying and refurbished real estate (that is, distributes Wojciechs domain), and Xerox waits-copy devices, and runs a small rehab clinic. Volunteer Wojciech in Krakow in ZNAK (“The sign”) is active, the largest Catholic book publishing company in the country.

Private has done, from 1989, a lot. At that time, Wojciech got to know one of the few Germans at that time in Poland, studied, Marie von Spee and the two married. Today, her four children are studying in Krakow, Cologne, Bern and Maastricht. The fifth child is killed in an accident recently deadly.

Got to the turn of the Polish businessman Wojciech and his German wife, Marie, to know:

Wojciech has, the economy idea. The more sceptical he looks at the economic policies of the government and the President in Poland. Not because of the bureaucracy, which, unfortunately, contained no government (“A construction project through fills today, 20 times more Files than 20 years ago.”). But because of the growing state involvement in the economy. Thus, the state also depends on strong lobby groups, such as in Poland, is very important for coal production and power generation. And the completed Transfer of large state-owned banks reduces competition in the financial sector.

“Ruling have sown discord”

A allegation: “The Ruling would have been able to take advantage of the good international economic activity since 2015, in order to create reserves. We would have used in the Corona-crisis urgently.“ Wojciech distrusted the populism of the party, PiS.

The worst thing that could have done this Ruling, however, was something else: “you have sown as no one since 1989, the discord in the people. You have made your contempt for dissenters on open Display.“ Who have broken into government offices law and rules, which must answer for it. “Even before an independent court.” For example, the Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin, who had in may, despite the pandemic, and against the clear will of the people, the presidential elections have want by press – and for the preparations of millions in the Sand.

If someone is to be convicted, then he had to jail, even if he had high posts. For Wojciech, there is no doubt: “The PiS is harmful to my country. Therefore, I want the President of Duda loses the election. If he loses, it could also lead to the defeat of PiS in the parliamentary elections in 2023.“

For the first time was in Poland, the absentee ballot request – due to the pandemic; Wojciech and Marie have already submitted their vote by Post.


Poland vacation 2020: when are trips possible? Which corona rules apply?

Europe Travel in times of Corona

These rules apply to vacationers in Poland

The border between Poland and Germany could soon be opened again. The Polish wellness and beach hotels in particular hope to be able to welcome visitors from Germany again soon.

| Reading time: 3 minutes

The travel warning is to be lifted for these 31 countries

The Federal Government wants to lift the worldwide travel warning for tourists from June 15 for 31 European countries. In addition to the 26 EU partner countries, this includes Great Britain and the four countries in the Schengen area that are free of border controls.

Nthe border to neighboring Poland is closed. But trips to the Polish Baltic Sea coast, Masuria or the Giant Mountains could soon be possible again.

As the Polish Tourism Organization (POT) announced, the Minister for Economic Development, also responsible for tourism, Jadwiga Emilewicz, recently named June 15 as a possible date for the opening of the border between Poland and Germany.

POT President Robert Andrzejczyk encourages German guests to visit their eastern neighbors again after the opening of the border and to experience Polish hospitality.

Poland plans accommodation hygiene certificate

In the meantime, tourism has gradually been brought back to life for domestic holidaymakers. Polish hotels and campsites have been open to local guests since May 4, and the restaurants were also allowed to reopen on May 18. The POT wants to introduce a special hygiene certificate for accommodations.

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In the wake of the corona pandemic, strict security rules have also applied in Poland since mid-March and the borders with neighboring countries have been closed. The tourism industry was badly affected.

In the western Polish seaside resorts in particular, which live largely from German guests, the voices for an early opening of the borders increased. According to the current regulation, these are still closed until June 12th.

Hotels on the Baltic Sea hope for German visitors

This also applies to the popular German-Polish Baltic island of Usedom. There, beach walkers and cyclists can usually simply walk or cycle on Europe’s longest beach promenade to Swinoujscie (Świnoujście) in the Polish tip of the island, for example to shop or eat cheaply.

Only a gate on Usedom’s beach promenade popular for selfies usually reminds of the place of the border. It is now closed again by Corona: “In the middle of the forest red and white fluttering tape, behind it military”, WELT author Barbara Schaefer describes the situation.

also read

By far: beach chairs on Usedom on the Baltic Sea

The Polish wellness and beach hotels in particular are now hoping for visitors from Germany. After they were able to resume operations for domestic guests, many of them have fitness and leisure activities back in the program.

In the Kolberg (Kołobrzeg) seaside resort, for example, the boutique hotel “Shuum” in the spa area again offers various physiotherapy measures, as well as individual activities with fitness trainers outdoors, for example yoga walking on the beach. There is also an offer to use exclusively a private wellness area with sauna.

Measures to protect against corona

The Polish tourism organization is also addressing the growing security needs of travelers from home and abroad. Accommodation that implements the high hygiene standards of the state health authority should receive a new seal under the title “Bezpieczny Objekt” (“Safe Object”).

The hygiene certificate is to be awarded to the accommodations after a check. Controls should ensure compliance with the standards, and the certificate can be revoked in the event of violations.

Summer vacation despite Corona? What currently applies in other popular travel countries:
Holidays in Spain 2020
Holidays in Italy 2020
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Vacation in France 2020
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This is how ships could cast off again: cruises during Corona

You should now pay attention to this when booking your holiday

With the lifting of the travel warnings, summer vacations could still be possible. In the WELT interview, Ralf Hieke from the German Travel Association explains why you should now go for package tours when booking.

Source: WELT / Carsten Hädler


NATO shoots again (daily newspaper young world)

Mohssen Assanimoghaddam / dpa / picture alliance

3,000 soldiers from 19 countries are practicing their march east with 27 warships and 28 aircraft and helicopters: the turret of the frigate “Lübeck”

An end to the pandemic-related maneuver break: This weekend, the western powers are starting new war exercises for a possible arms attack against Russia. The Baltic Sea maneuver “Baltops 2020” begins in Kiel with the participation of the German Navy, during which battles against a major military power are being rehearsed. On Friday, troops from Poland and the USA partially resumed the large-scale maneuver “Defender Europe 20”. A cancellation of “Baltops” because of the pandemic is out of the question, it is said among the military involved: It would be “a setback for the USA and NATO,” US General Tod D. Wolters, NATO Commander in Chief in Europe, is quoted as saying.

Around 3,000 soldiers from a total of 19 countries with 27 warships and 28 aircraft and helicopters are taking part in “Baltops 2020” – the abbreviation stands for “Baltic Operations”. The German Navy is involved with the frigate “Lübeck” and with other warships as well as with a sea reconnaissance aircraft of the type “Orion”. For example, submarine defense and air defense are practiced – in other words, fighting against weapon systems that are typically possessed by a major military power. The maneuver, which this year – the only pandemic concession – will only take place at sea and in the air and does not require landing exercises is to continue until June 16. It is run by the United States; In addition to the 17 NATO countries, Finland and Sweden are also involved, which once again confirms that their official neutrality only exists on paper. It is obvious who the war exercise is aimed at: The only Baltic Sea area that is in conflict with Western powers is Russia. The “Baltops” maneuvers have an anti-Russian or anti-Soviet tradition: they were first held in 1971 to practice and demonstrate NATO’s ability to fight in the Baltic Sea.

The armed forces of the United States and Poland also started the “Allied Spirit” maneuver on Friday, which takes place at the Drawsko Pomorskie military training area and will last until June 19. 4,000 US and 2,000 Polish soldiers are involved; A Polish airborne operation and a joint river crossing of the troops of both countries are being practiced in divisional strength. “Allied Spirit” was originally intended to be integrated into the “Defender Europe 20” large-scale maneuver with which the United States wanted to test the transfer of 20,000 soldiers across the Atlantic and their subsequent march towards the Russian border, with the extensive involvement of its European allies, including Germany. “Defender Europe 20” was ultimately canceled because of the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic; however, the US armed forces, or those troops that still made it across the Atlantic, continue to operate on a smaller flame under the name “Defender 20-plus”.

By the way: The war exercises take place exactly 30 years after the climax of the negotiations on whether the Federal Republic may continue to belong to NATO after the takeover of the GDR. The Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, showed at the beginning of June 1990 that he was ready to agree to NATO membership in an enlarged Federal Republic of Germany. But it was clear that Moscow would reject further NATO expansion to the east. The current maneuvers against Russia prove once again that it was trying to get in the way for a good reason.


Military personnel could learn distance (neue-deutschland.de)

Photo: imago images / Eastnews

The tanks in Poland had been standing still since March 16. The major exercise “Defender 2020”, in which the United States and other NATO countries transferred over 20,000 soldiers – more than ever since the end of the Cold War – to Eastern Europe had to surrender to Corona. But now it starts again. First on the Polish military training area Drawsko Pomorskie. You have to be prepared, the military say, because: A war in Europe will begin on October 1, 2021.

The latter is (for the time being) only the fictitious content of a study. However, this comes from the US think tank “International Institute for Strategic Studies” (IISS), which is growing quite seriously. Political and military experts designed it around a year ago under the title “Defending Europe”. After that, Lithuanian and Polish government, media and military networks are attacked first. Russian troops enter the small Baltic republic. Airborne units occupy key positions, and an intensified motorized division is advancing from Belarus. Kaunas Airport is occupied with a bold move, spitting transport machines and material.

The eastern Baltic Sea and the sky above the combat area belong to the attackers. The fighter jets of the NATO air policing mission have been destroyed. The NATO ground troops stationed in the “Enhanced Forward Presence” are also attacked. Only a small part can flee to Latvia, most of the soldiers deployed from Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway are dead or in captivity. Polish volunteers rush to Lithuania to fight. Warsaw’s troops are trying to counterattack the Suwalki Gap. Russia is intensifying its attacks. The UN Security Council is unable to agree on a position.

Already on October 2, according to the study, NATO had dispatched the Rapid Response Force on the basis of Article V of the status of assistance and had given Russia a withdrawal date. The effect? Equals zero. A government in exile in Lithuania is set up in Warsaw, while a transitional administration under Russian supervision begins in Lithuania.

And what are the US doing? The fictional IISS business game assumes that the newly re-elected President Donald Trump is no longer interested in NATO. Just as Trump is whistling at the security contracts signed with Russia, the Egoman, who is even sending “his” military against his own people, is icy cold about his obligations to European allies.

Trump’s geo-strategic goal is China. He offers NATO aid for cash. He meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Belgrade to solve the “Europe problem”. Under pressure from its allies, Poland agrees to a ceasefire along a security zone to be monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It is enough …

One can find a lot of factual-critical assessments for this scenario – even without suspecting “friendliness to Russians”; it can be called absurd and unrealistic and warned that such studies fuel the east-west conflict. But: Security policy fantasies like those of the IISS determine political thinking and acting. In Poland in particular, which has had particularly painful experiences in matters of reliable loyalty to the Alliance since 1939, those responsible for politics are ready too quickly. And so Poland – even before the national conservative PiS party came to the helm – not only relies on the contracts with the EU and NATO, but actively promotes special routes.

Warsaw is trying to use the strategic realignment of the United States, which was already evident under President Barack Obama, to create closer bilateral military and armaments ties with the United States. The aim is to strengthen one’s own security policy capabilities and indirectly to put more pressure on EU policies. The latter becomes clear, among other things, in the Trump-supported struggle of Poland against the Nord Stream natural gas project.

The first indications of the special relationship between Poland and the United States were already evident during Trump’s visit to Warsaw three years ago, during which the U.S. President paid homage to Polish nationalism. Warsaw repaid the offer of permanently stationing a US division. The costs would be borne by Poland, where people weren’t just jokingly talking about a “Fort Trump”. Poland systematically established depots on its eastern border, in which the US armed forces store heavy material, fuel, ammunition and more ready for use. Only the crews have to be flown in.

In the course of the first phase of building its own air defense system, Poland buys US Patriot missile systems, equipped its squadrons with F-16 jets, chose the US HIMARS missile artillery system and ordered the most expensive weapon systems as part of the military reform planned until 2026. Example: F-35. The stealth aircraft can carry nuclear weapons. In Warsaw, Berlin debates are also being registered which are directed against the stationing of US nuclear weapons in Germany. Poland could step in. It is no coincidence that his air force was already practicing nuclear participation in the NATO system. The construction of a US base for ballistic missile defense in Redzikowo in western Poland is also strategically important for the USA.

Joint exercises are an important component of bilateral military cooperation. Defender Europe 2020 was planned between January and June 2020. Moscow was to be shown how quickly and massively US troops can be deployed on Russia’s borders. But the largest US deployment in 25 years, when 20,000 GIs were brought out of the states and relocated across Europe, met the corona pandemic.

So all over and forgotten? And does this also apply to the exercises “Allied Spirit XI” and “Trojan Footprint” linked to “Defender”? No. “Allied Spirit” is just starting. Together with other planned training measures, it was raised to “Defender Europe 2020 Plus”. What Russia in particular cannot like. Moscow warned the United States and other NATO countries of excessive saber rattling. General Sergei Rudskoj, head of the General Operations Department in the Russian General Staff, stressed that the United States and its allies would further undermine the security system in Europe with the perceived dangers of Russian aggression. His country, on the other hand, wants to avoid maneuvers along the borders with NATO countries by the end of the year.

Certainly also because of the corona pandemic, from which one could also learn something in terms of security policy. For example, the distance requirement. In order to reduce existing tensions, General Rudskoj suggested, general rules could be agreed on minimum distances between military aircraft and ships on both sides.


Radoslaw Sikorski, or the hope of a powerful Europe

His crossing of the desert lasted less than four years. Since his election to the European Parliament in May 2019, Radoslaw Sikorski, 57, a former Polish foreign minister, has returned to the political scene with a message focused on Europe. “The challenge facing us in this crisis is whether we will be a center of power on the world stage or whether we will end up as subcontractors or vassals”, said the former minister, confined to his mansion in the village of Chobielin in northern Poland.

On both sides of the Atlantic

In June 2015, Radoslaw Sikorski, then president of the lower house of the Polish Parliament, resigned, four months before the victory of the Law and Justice Party (PiS) in the legislative elections. The former head of Polish diplomacy even let go of his mandate as a deputy to step back. Between his duties as a senior fellow at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University and the chairmanship of the board of directors of the industrial park of Bydgoszcz, his hometown, Radoslaw Sikorski has distanced himself, cultivated his network on both sides from the Atlantic and recounted his experience of seven years at the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a book published in October 2018.

→ READ. In Poland, serial resignations at the top of the state

The political animal quickly resurfaced, both within the Civic Coalition (KO, center right), formed in 2018 in Poland, and the European People’s Party (EPP). Former Minister of Defense then Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2014, he strongly opposed the current government, whose “Violations of the Polish Constitution and European treaties”. Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of the ruling PiS party, says he wants to turn Poland into a “Catholic State” modeled after “Franco’s Spain”. Radoslaw Sikorski claims to be “Modern conservatism”.

EU-Poland: litigation over rule of law is growing

A native of Bydgoszcz in Pomerania, Radoslaw Sikorski experienced the slow erosion of Polish communism as closely as possible, under the leadership of Wladyslaw Gomulka and Edward Gierek. At Ludwik-Warynski High School, he sang the Internationale to improve his grades. In the narrow family apartment, his father falls asleep while listening to Radio Free Europe. In the summer, his parents take him on vacation to Turkey, via Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria, with their Fiat Polski 125 loaded with products to resell on the black market.

Summer 1981. Sa matura (baccalaureate) in pocket, Radoslaw Sikorski, 18, leaves for England for a linguistic stay of a few months. On December 13, when General Jaruzelski established martial law in Poland, several of his friends were arrested. Rather than returning as planned and risking prison, the student decides to stay, obtains political asylum and begins study at Oxford. Less than seven years later, on June 4, 1989, Solidarnosc won the first (semi-) free elections. The prodigal son, who has meanwhile become a war correspondent in Afghanistan and Angola, can return to the country.

A call for financial solidarity

At the head of Polish diplomacy between 2007 and 2014, Radoslaw Sikorski will print his mark. On November 28, 2011, before the Bundestag, he encouraged Berlin to act in the face of the debt crisis in the euro zone. “I am less afraid of German power than I begin to fear its inaction. You have become the indispensable nation of Europe “, he says.

Nine years later, this convinced European calls for financial solidarity in the face of the crisis which is shaking the Old Continent. “The confederal constitutional architecture of the European Union is not working satisfactorily and we need to give more authority to the center, he says. Europe must create an instrument allowing its member states, with the necessary guarantees, to borrow at the best possible rate. “

“Radek” Sikorski dreams of a “Great compromise” between Paris and Berlin, where everyone would share their attributes – the seat of permanent member of the UN Security Council and nuclear deterrence, French side, economic power, German side – to create, with the other countries of the EU, a “European power capable of treating on an equal footing with China and the United States”.

“The current crisis is a constitutional moment for the European Union. Continuing to act like nothing is not enough, insists MEP. We need courageous decisions, the kind of leadership provided by Emmanuel Macron. Let us not let the nationalists pretend that we can only rely on the nation state. Europeans can only do what is necessary to overcome this crisis together. “


Her inspiration: Margaret Thatcher

I have long been an admirer of Margaret Thatcher, an example of this resolute, tenacious, principled leadership that we need, a champion of freedom who, along with Ronald Reagan and John Paul II, contributed to the demise of communism in central Europe. His visit to Poland in 1988 was an important factor in the Communist Party’s decision to start negotiating with Solidarnosc. On Europe, she signed the Single European Act as prime minister, before sinking into europhobia during her retirement. A lesson must be learned from the way the British succumbed, thirty years later, to the untruths of the supporters of Brexit: we must not allow the nationalists to deceive us again.