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The recent Polish threat to veto the EU’s budget has ignited a discussion about the country’s future in the bloc.
Earlier this month, the Polish government joined Hungary in blocking the EU’s €1.8 trillion budget and pandemic recovery fund because it includes a mechanism linking the bloc’s money with the rule of law.
That’s prompted the opposition to warn that Poland is on track to quit the EU — a so-called Polexit. Their worry is that government rhetoric painting the EU as an alien and unfriendly force will end up tainting the Union and eventually create momentum to leave — as happened with the U.K.
“The government doesn’t have the mandate to take us out of the Union without asking the nation,” Tomasz Grodzki, the speaker of the opposition-controlled Senate, said in a Friday evening national address.
There’s an increasingly anti-Brussels tone from ministers and senior politicians belonging to the right-wing ruling coalition led by the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party as well as their media allies.
Last week, the right-wing Do Rzeczy weekly — which often serves as a government mouthpiece — published a cover saying: “We have to tell the Union: Enough. Polexit — we have the right to talk about it.”
Despite the rhetoric, the government insists it has no intention of leaving the EU, but simply wants it to be true to its original purpose — a loose grouping of nation states and not a liberal federalist project.
“We say a loud ‘Yes’ to the European Union and say a loud ‘No’ to oppressive mechanisms,” said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
At the same time,