Farage slams von der Leyen for backing Italy against England
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EU leaders have once again clashed with both Poland and Hungary’s governments over the rights of LGBT communities. Last month, it was reported Brussels is preparing legal action against Poland after towns and provinces across the country declared themselves “free of LGBTQ ideology” to prevent pride parades and other gay-friendly events from going ahead. Several Polish courts have ruled that the measures are unconstitutional and discriminatory, but Polish President Andrzej Duda referred to homosexuality as a “foreign ideology” that’s “worse than communism” during an election campaign last year.
The row has yet again cast doubt over Poland’s place in the EU.
Anti-EU rhetoric from Polish leaders and from Brussels could see Polexit happen, as the main opposition leader in Warsaw warned in December.
Borys Budka compared Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s actions to David Cameron in the UK, who inadvertently started the Brexit process by calling a referendum in 2016.
He said: “Morawiecki may go down in history like Cameron, who perhaps unintentionally started the Brexit process, and likewise Morawiecki, by vetoing the budget, and may start the Polexit process.”
Mr Morawiecki has been critical of the EU, recently warning that the bloc risks becoming an “oligarchy”.
Meanwhile, President Duda has used harsh terms to describe the EU, branding it an “imaginary community of little consequence for us”.
In November last year, opposition MP Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska warned: “It’s time to sound the alarm.
“What happened in the UK is starting here. We need to stop it.”
Experts have varying opinions on the future of Poland and Hungary in the EU.
Milan Nic, head of the Robert Bosch Centre for Central and Eastern Europe, argued while Poland may remain in the bloc, there could be a “de facto Polexit”.
He told DW: “While leaving is out of the question, it is more realistic that the EU core would move forward without Poland and Hungary.”
Meanwhile, Agnieszka Bien-Kacala, a professor of constitutional law at the UMK university in Torun, added: “A de facto Polexit is highly possible or even probable.
“Polish illiberal authorities seem not to recognise or are opposed to CJEU [European Court of Justice] decisions and now express their willingness to resign from the EU budget and recovery fund.”
Aleksander Laszek, chief economist at the Civil Development Forum in Warsaw argued that Poland will remain in the EU, and added that “no one is seriously talking about Polexit”.
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Poland’s foreign minister, Zbigniew Rau, said recently that “Polexit is a complete absurdity, no political force that counts on the Polish scene has ever formulated such a demand, and the ruling coalition would be the last ones who would try to think or conduct a discourse in these terms”.
Opinion polling in Poland still has shown 80 percent of people in support of EU membership.
The Polish economy is also dependent on the bloc. In 2018, almost 80 percent of exports went to the EU and 58 percent of Polish imports came from the EU’s internal market.
EU funds and participation in the single market has benefited Poles and increased their wealth – income per capita increased from 45 percent of the EU’s average in 2004 to 70 percent in 2017, according to Eurostat.
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