The leader of Poland’s ruling party has declared that there will be no “Polexit” and that the future of the country lies in the European Union.
But Jaroslaw Kaczynski also issued a warning to the EU, saying that Poland wishes to remain a “sovereign” country.
Kaczynski, who is the leader of the ruling and conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, is considered the most powerful politician in Poland.
In an interview with the state news agency PAP, he reiterated that the EU’s “interference” in Poland’s internal affairs must end, but that the country will not leave the bloc.
The comments came amid accusations by opposition politicians that Poland’s leadership was seeking to remove the country from the EU.
Several prominent PiS figures have spoken harshly on Brussels in disputes over the rule of law and minority rights.
Some political observers in Poland also fear that harsh comments about the EU could put Poland on the path of leaving the EU.
But Kaczynski told PAP that Poland, where support for EU membership is very high at 80%, will not leave.
“There will be no Polexit, it is a propaganda invention that has been used many times against us,” said Kaczynski, who is also a deputy prime minister.
“We clearly see the future of Poland in the European Union,” he added.
Relations between Warsaw and Brussels have become particularly tense in recent days.
Poland has accused the EU of infringing its sovereignty by opposing changes introduced by the government to the country’s judicial system.
Earlier this month, the government accused the EU executive of “blackmail” after he suggested the EU could withhold post-pandemic recovery funds if Warsaw did not accept the primacy of EU law.
Kaczynski argued that the rule of law is an area of responsibility solely for member states and “cannot be subject to the kind of interference that is currently occurring.”
The PiS leader also told PAP that he did not believe that EU member states were being treated equally.
“We want to see what is agreed in the treaties very strictly observed,” Kaczynski said.
The EU, however, argues that because the bloc’s legal order is integrated, it is essential to protect the independence of the courts in each member state.
Meanwhile, Kaczynski has also said that Poland’s ruling party will try to overturn the Senate’s rejection of a controversial media bill.
Critics of the bill say it is intended to silence international media, including the US-owned TVN channel that is critical of the government.
But Law and Justice maintains that it is a matter of national security to prevent outside bodies from influencing public opinion within Poland.
Poland’s Senate rejected the bill last week, but has no power to stop the legislation entirely as it will now return to the lower house of parliament.
However, Polish President Andrzej Duda has indicated that he would not make it law in its current form.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism