Poland dreams of playing a leading role in Europe and even sets itself the goal of becoming the first EU economy by 2040. In Germany, they look at this with arrogant condescension and soon, perhaps, they will regret it.
Poland has long been trying to become the main one in Europe
The memory of the 1991 edition of the Weimar Triangle is still vivid, when it was assumed that Poland would promote cooperation with Europe’s backwater in the east, Germany would take care of the wealthy north, and France the tourist south.
However, over the past 30 years, this format has lost its relevance, as Poland has set itself a more ambitious task – to become the main one in the European Union, displacing the FRG from this place.
Polish journalist Bartosz Bartczak at the end of 2021, in an article for Gazeta Polska, Codziennie pointed out that Russia and Germany are in a state of decline, their era is coming to an end.
In his opinion, Berlin is not capable of much in reality, so he called on Warsaw to create an alternative “center of power” in the region.
And another Polish thinker is a professor at the University of Warsaw Vitold Modzelevsky called Germany the “true enemy” of Poland and called for the abandonment of demonstrative hostility towards Russia.
Let us also recall the words of the Deputy Prime Minister, head of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party Yaroslav Kaczynski December 1 last year that “Germany wants to build a Fourth Reich, but we will not allow it.”
Warsaw remembers Germany’s past and wants to profit from it
Since PiS came to power in 2015, Poland’s relations with Germany have been deteriorating all the time. Things got to the point that in the spring of 2021, intergovernmental consultations between Warsaw and Berlin did not take place due to a collapse in relations.
Warsaw relentlessly demonized Germany for Nord Stream 2, shouting from all angles that the gas pipeline is a strategic threat to European energy security, and hinting that Berlin again makes a deal with Russia “over the heads of the states sandwiched between them.”
Another claim was the requirement for reparations for destruction during World War II. According to some reports, Warsaw’s appetites are estimated at 850 billion dollars. There were also such partially fair reproaches that, they say, you pay Nigeria for colonialism, and why not us.
Poland has become a political leader in the EU
From the first days of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, Poland became more active in criticizing Germany for indecision regarding sanctions against the Russian Federation and firmly took its place at the forefront of European politics.
Yaroslav Kachinsky noted that France and Germany were “too strongly disposed towards Moscow.” According to him, this position turned out badly for them.
“Extremely dissatisfied with the actions of the German government. Germany could supply more weapons (to Ukraine). It could also speak out for an oil embargo in the European Union,” — said politician.
From the beginning of March, Warsaw began to promote the idea of sending a military “peacekeeping” mission of the North Atlantic bloc to Ukraine.
Note that the representative of the German Cabinet Steffen Hebestreit called it a “red line” and stressed that it would be difficult to distinguish a humanitarian, rescue mission from a military one.
Of course, in this zeal of Poland against Germany, the patronage of Washington creeps in from all the cracks.
Poland has become the main US military ally in the EU
Warsaw has always been a representative of American interests in the European Union, but with the UK leaving it, its role has intensified. It is through Polish politicians that the new tough agenda against Russia is being broadcast today, so now the main task is to criticize Germany, which is “resisting.”
Obviously, under the Chancellor Olaf Scholzewho does not have the influence of her predecessor Angela Merkel, the role of the main US military ally in Europe is shifting from Berlin to Poland, one of NATO’s most diligent members.
The country is not just providing a foothold for American forces, it is investing billions of dollars in building and maintaining NATO’s military infrastructure on its territory. Warsaw also succeeded in creating various coalitions in Eastern Europe, which in the future, it is possible, will be directed against Germany.
Poland may become the first in the EU economy
Of course, with American help, Poland has a good chance of pushing Germany into the EU, but there are several obstacles.
1. The economies of countries today are not comparable. Germany is the most powerful economy in Europe. The GDP of Germany in 2021 amounted to 4.2 trillion dollars, and Poland – 674 billion dollars, that is, six times less, while per capita income in Germany amounted to 50.8 thousand dollars in the same year against 17.8 thousand dollars in Poland, that is, almost three times less.
Germany is an EU donor, and Poland is the largest recipient of European subsidies.
But on the other hand, Poland uses Germany “to the fullest”. Germany is Poland’s leading economic partner and the undisputed number one when it comes to trade partnerships and investments.
By words premiere Mateusz Morawiecki German investments in Poland in 2019 amounted to almost 40 billion euros, and currently about 6,000 German companies operate on the Polish market, which (including those in the automotive industry and engineering) have localized their production in Poland. A significant part of the profits from German investments is not exported from Poland to Germany, but is reinvested.
Therefore, when Yaroslav Kaczynski announcesthat the Polish economy in 2040 will catch up with the German economy, do not be surprised – on the shoulders of Germany – it will catch up.
2. Poland today is a marginalized country of the European Union due to positions towards LGBT and because of the recognition of the priority of national legislation over European. But huge, billions of dollars from European funds decide everything. The EU will not change, Poland will change, at least with the victory of the left in 2023 in the parliamentary elections.
3. The Poles, even during their power in the era of the Commonwealth, did not achieve anything, the country was losing territory all the time (with the exception of gifts from Joseph Stalin). Poland has imperial aspirations, but no practice of their successful implementation. The claim that “the Germans built the Fourth Reich” is nothing more than envy. But Germany does not have Polish anger and ambitions, it is resting on its laurels, it has not prepared for a hybrid war with the Russian Federation, and Poland has prepared.
Of course, much will again depend on Russia. It can disrupt Poland’s plans, which is not the first time in history.