What does Meloni’s Poland visit mean?
Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki have demonstrated unity at a meeting of the European Conservatives and Reformers Group (ECR) in Warsaw. Observers see a connection with the attempt to form an alliance with the European People’s Party (EPP) ahead of the 2024 European elections. Many commentators voice doubts about whether Meloni and Morawiecki really have so much in common.
A chimera of an alliance
There is not much common ground between Meloni and the Polish government, La Repubblica notes:
“The prime minister’s plan is to form an alliance between the EPP and the ECR conservatives with a common programme. Warsaw, however, wants nothing to do with it. ... But without the Poles, the framework of the alliance with the EPP will collapse. Moreover, [Polish opposition leader Donald] Tusk is an active member of the EPP. He’s a friend of [EPP group leader] Manfred Weber, who in turn is a friend of Meloni and is working with her on building the alliance. ... It’s just too bad that Morawiecki is not exactly an admirer of the German parliamentary group leader. Poland has two problems, he said recently: the Wagner group in the east and the Weber group in the west.”
Little sign of concrete cooperation
The meeting is mostly symbolic, Rzeczpospolita observes:
“Behind the screen of mutual praise, it is hard to find any areas on which the two prime ministers actually agree. ... Meanwhile, at the EU summit in Brussels last Thursday and Friday, Meloni stood up to Morawiecki and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán by refusing to join the blockade of the summit’s results. ... Meloni’s visit to Poland immediately after the EU summit is aimed at erasing the memory of this unpleasant dispute.”
Watch out for right-wing blocking minority
Newsweek Polska sees a real danger of a new right-wing alliance paralysing the EU:
“If Spain joins the conservative axis, the group could gain the ability to block EU legislation — from migration to financial and climate issues — with the tactical support of yet another country. The blocking minority in the EU consists of at least four members of the Council of the EU representing more than 35 percent of the EU’s population. The populations of Spain, Poland, Italy and Hungary make up about 34 percent of the total EU population, which is very close to the blocking threshold.”