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Poland accuses Germany of trying to form 'Fourth Reich'

December 24, 2021

The deputy prime minister said the EU's top court was being used to promote federalist ideas. The comments come as Poland and the EU are embroiled in a conflict over judicial changes launched by Poland's leading party.

Ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski speaks in Warsaw in October 2021
Ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski denounced "submission" to EU policyImage: Czarek Sokolowski/AP/picture alliance

Poland's deputy prime minister and the leader of its ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, accused Germany's new government of wanting to turn the European Union into a federal "German Fourth Reich."

In an interview with far-right Polish daily GPC published on Friday, the head of the Law and Justice (PiS) party said that some countries "are not enthusiastic at the prospect of a German Fourth Reich being built on the basis of the EU."

"If we Poles agreed with this kind of modern-day submission, we would be degraded in different ways," said Kaczynski.

He added that the EU's Court of Justice was being used as an "instrument" for federalist ideas.

Other PiS leaders have recently used the same phrase to describe the intentions of Berlin's new center-left coalition government toward the European Union.

The agreement forged by the three parties to form Germany's ruling coalition states that its ultimate goal is a federal European state. This aspect of the agreement was condemned by Poland's PiS government, with Kaczynski even claiming such a state would take away Poland's right to self-determination.

Scholz visit spurs criticism

During German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's visit to Warsaw earlier this month, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the current German government's support for EU federalism was "utopian and therefore dangerous."

Poland has been involved in a long-standing conflict with the European Union, particularly over the judicial changes that the PiS has pushed through since 2015.

This week, the European Union said it was launching legal action against Poland for ignoring EU law and undermining judicial independence. Poland has also accused the EU of "bureaucratic centralism."

Poland's Constitutional Court 'is a marionette court'

lc/aw (dpa, AFP)