Warsaw Summit: a far-right EU alliance?
Leading nationalists and far-right politicians from EU states have met in Warsaw at the invitation of Poland's ruling PiS party. The aim: to bring the far-right factions divided between two groups in the EU Parliament together and to hammer out plans to change the "character of the EU". Commentators discuss what this could mean for Europe.
A success for Europe's right
wPolityce sees the conference as validation of Polish government policy:
“The success of the Warsaw Summit - both in terms of the number of participants and the content - confirms the respect Jarosław Kaczyński's camp and he himself command among Europeans with common sense. The Polish leadership's supposed isolation is clearly a lie, as Prime Minister Morawiecki's meetings with eleven leaders in six days prove. Today it has also been confirmed that the attacks from abroad on the Polish government camp are exclusively ideological in nature. ... For a Europe that wants to preserve the continent's civilizational heritage, the governments in Warsaw and Budapest (for all their differences) offer hope.”
Putin's eyes and ears
A large right-wing group in the EU Parliament would be entirely to Moscow's liking, Népszava believes:
“Only Putin would benefit from a successful Warsaw Pact: not only would it create a buffer zone running from Warsaw through Budapest to Rome, but by creating the second strongest group in the European Parliament into which he would insert his own eyes and ears, he would be plunging a dagger into the heart of the EU.”
Kaczyński the collaborator
Gazeta Wyborcza believes the event is a diversionary tactic:
“By inviting the far right, [PiS leader] Kaczyński is showing his voters that he is not isolated internationally. ... Kaczyński has nothing else left to conceal his government's failure to fight the pandemic, the cases of corruption and cronyism that are exposed almost daily, and the escalating conflict with the EU. He has no choice but to play up aversions to Germany and World War II associations. All he has left is Le Pen and the far-right elites in Europe. All he has left is the role of Vladimir Putin's collaborator. And this at a time when Russia is making Belarus dependent on itself and its troops are waiting for the signal to attack Ukraine.”
The threat is real
The right-wing populists could undermine democracy in Europe, fears El Periódico de Catalunya:
“They are already in power in Hungary and Poland, and also in Austria with a new chancellor who positions himself against refugees and immigrants. The problem is that their policies will end up permeating the other democratic parties, and especially the liberal right, which is afraid of being beaten by them in the elections. Isolating them has worked in Germany. ... The next chapter will be in France, with elections in the spring and two ultra-nationalist candidates. Then comes Spain, where the far-right could end up in government with a conservative [PP] that doesn't know how to distance itself. The threat is real.”