Interview with Dominik Tarczynski, law graduate, Member of the Sejm (Polish Parliament) from 2015 to 2020. Since 2020 he has been an MEP for Law and Justice (PiS) in the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group.
Poland warned about what Nordstream implied and what Putin’s Russia really was, but nobody wanted to listen and we have a war and an unprecedented energy crisis. Now the EU agrees with Poland, when it is too late. Does no one take responsibility for this blindness?
Yes, Ursula von der Leyen said that they should have listened to Poland, but it is too late. And it is true, someone should pay the political consequences. However, we see that they support each other in this matter. Macron still says that you cannot isolate a leader like Putin. Scholz insists on restoring normal relations with Russia after the war. The problem is that the self-proclaimed leaders of the EU still do not understand that Russia is an evil empire, and they should be aware of that.
Obviously, they have not suffered the consequences of World War II like Poland and would only understand this if they were attacked by Russia. I have the impression that they need some kind of shock to understand the reality because they see Russia as a source of income, as a partner in business. They don’t understand that you don’t do business with the Russian bear because sooner or later the bear is going to kill you.
Just a month ago you visited the graves in Izium, where more than 400 bodies have been exhumed. However, many European politicians still advocate handing over territories to Putin in exchange for peace. Is it naivety or a desire to get back to business as soon as possible?
Obviously, they want to get back to business with Russia, but it should be remembered that the war in Ukraine did not start ten months ago, but years ago. For a long time, for example, when Russia attacked Georgia, nobody reacted. The problem is that nothing will change unless political leaders change in Europe.
The European Union has established all kinds of sanctions to affect the Russian economy, but, as you pointed out, it leaves out businesses like the diamond market between Belgium and Russia. Is this not further proof of the EU’s hypocrisy and double standards?
Diamonds are just one example. The truth is that at the moment I do not see the EU taking any action, just nice words condemning Russia and saying that it will have to pay the consequences. What consequences? Why is the diamond market not sanctioned? There are a lot of words, but little action. With these leaders I see no future for Europe. Russia’s influence is so strong, there are so many lobbies, so many agents, and nobody does anything about it.
And now we have this corruption scandal in the European Parliament which undermines the whole structure of the EU. Putin must surely be laughing with this. Those who tried to condemn Poland, those who wanted to lecture us on democracy, the rule of law and transparency, are the ones who were taking the money. That is the hypocrisy of this institution.
nd we are not talking about mere members, we are talking about its vice-president, Eva Kaili. Someone who got to that position because she was recommended and then tolerated for years. For me, the investigation should focus on her personal relations in the European Parliament because this will reveal many more names, I am sure of it. It is frightening that during the war –a war that is not local because its impact affects the whole world– some were only concerned with lining their pockets with bribes.
This scandal has been called the “Qatargate,” but it seems that many bribes come from Morocco. Could these bribes explain the European policies of subsidies worth millions to Moroccan “green” agriculture that harm an EU country like Spain?
I believe that “Qatargate” will become “Moroccogate”. It is a very serious matter because Qatargate was, above all, a big bribe for the World Cup and to improve Qatar’s image, just that. However, in Europe there is for some reason a strategic decision to support Morocco for years. This is much more serious than Qatar. So, we have to look at the votes, at the speeches in Parliament, to see who might be involved. For example, Vice-President Kaili was voting in the LIBE Committee (Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs) when she was not a member of that committee.
We have to see who is part of the pro-Moroccan lobby, the speeches and votes on Morocco, and follow the money, always follow the money.
Despite this scandal and the war, there are parties in the EU obsessed with blackmailing Hungary and Poland and applying sanctions on the basis of the Rule of Law mechanism, which some call the ‘Rule of Left.’
This is absolutely true because it is the rule of law seen from a leftist point of view. The point is that this blackmail is not going to break us at all. We don’t care about money, we need it, like everybody else, but it is not our goal, it is not the centre of our life. We are not going to sell our sovereignty for euros. They think that we think like them, that our mentality is like theirs: money. We have much more than money on our mind; we have our history, we have survived partitions, 123 years of non-existence on the map, communism, Hitler and World War II… and they think they can blackmail us. It’s a joke!
They cannot blackmail the Polish nation because we have a thousand-year history and we are a proud nation. They cannot touch us. They cannot harm our economy because when you compare it, when you see that the unemployment figure is the lowest in the European Union, they cannot match us. They only have finances, we have finances, history, emotions and pride.
One of the most frequent accusations against Poland has been that it is “xenophobic”, and now it is taking in more than 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees, the largest reception effort in Europe. Has there been any support from the EU?
Not really. You have to remember that about seven million people have crossed the Polish border and one very important thing is that there are no refugee camps in Poland. All these people are accommodated in private houses or in our infrastructure, but we have no refugee camps.
This proves two things. First, Poland is an open nation. Second, the situation with Ukrainian refugees proves that we were right when we said “no” to illegal migration in 2015. Because according to international law, a refugee is a person fleeing from the country in conflict to the nearest country. Ukrainians are refugees, but Moroccans, Africans or Syrians are not refugees, they are illegal migrants. We were right when we opposed it in 2015 and when we refused the quota system. Obviously, years later we were right, again.
I have repeated it in the European Parliament: “be like Poland.” Stop illegal migration, stop doing business with Putin, and be as brave and proud as Poland.
“Be brave, be like Poland”, those were your words in the European Parliament.
That is right. That is my motto in life: “Be like Poland”. There are many examples, over many years, that Poland was right.
Don’t you think that the big problem in many Western countries is the lack of courage to believe in themselves?
I think there is a problem of determination, of believing in oneself. This self-confidence is very important in a nation, and we have it because of the hard experiences we have gone through. We understand what sovereignty means; we know how to celebrate every moment of freedom. As John Paul II said: “Freedom is not given forever, you have to fight for it every day.”
Even in times of peace we understand that sovereignty and freedom are not given forever, they can be taken away from you, and it is better to be smart before you lose them, before you are attacked. We understand what Russia is and that we must be strong, smart, prepared and believe in ourselves. You cannot be a coward if you want to survive in this world. That is why the Polish nation is brave, intelligent and proud.
I am the grandson of one of the cursed soldiers, those who did not believe that the war was over in 1945, and my grandfather hid in the forest and continued the war against the communists after 1945. That is in our blood, every family in Poland has a freedom fighter at some point in our recent history. That is our heritage.
Álvaro Peñas is a political analyst specializing in Eastern European countries. He writes for El Correo de España and several European digital outlets. He is deputy director of two programs on Decisión Radio and a regular contributor to the television channel 7NN.