Poland: The rule of law is a precondition for Europe

In Warsaw, the federal president acknowledged Poland's willingness to reconcile with Germany. At the same time, he recalled common values to be adhered to.

Poland:   The rule of law is a precondition for Europe

During his visit to Poland, federal president Frank-Walter Steinmeier emphasized democracy and rule of law as a precondition for Europe. At a conference on 100 anniversary of regaining of Polish independence, he said that a sovereign Europe could only exist if everyone acted according to common values and rules. "Within se basic rules, each nation is shaping its democracy and rule of law itself – but where basic rules are in question, everyone else is affected," Steinmeier said according to prevalent speech manuscript.

The European Union accuses national Conservative government in Warsaw of violating principles of rule of law with its judicial reform. It refore initiated a sanction procedure at end of 2017.

"We have a lot to lose," Steinmeier said. "If cohesion of European Union breaks down, none of us will gain national assertiveness," he warned.

At start of two-day visit, Steinmeier was greeted by Polish President Andrzej Duda. He entered a commemorative book on anniversary of 1918 regained independence. Later, federal president laid down a wreath at monument of Warsaw Uprising. In August 1944, National Polish Homeland Army, supported by or underground groups, had started a uprising against German occupiers.

Meetings with representatives of civil society and German minority in Poland are planned for Wednesday. The Museum of History of Polish Jews also wanted to visit Steinmeier.

Although historical commemoration is in foreground at Steinmeier's visit, current difficulties in German-Polish relations are likely to be discussed. In addition to controversial reform of judiciary, refugee and energy policy are also issues of controversy between governments in Berlin and Warsaw. The Polish Government is opposed to quotas demanded by federal government for distribution of refugees within EU and also wants to prevent construction of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

"This partnership is also not self-evident today"

With a view to story, Steinmeier thanked Poland in his speech for willingness to reconcile. "There was little reason for Poland to trust German neighbors." The federal president recalled "Human crime against European Jews" and destruction of Poland by National Socialist regime. Germany is grateful for fact that it is a partnership.

Debate on design of European Union, sometimes also in dispute. "But even more so in dispute, we need to know that this partnership is not self-evident today, it is only possible in continuing awareness and responsibility for our history," Steinmeier said.

Date Of Update: 06 June 2018, 12:02

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