TWO years within the past Poland seemed on in disbelief because the British voted for Brexit. Now the country may perhaps perhaps face its be pleased vote. Andrzej Duda, the president, wants to kind out the count on of Poland’s relationship with the EU in a broader referendum on constitutional reform this autumn, on the centenary of Polish independence after the first world battle. With relatives between the ruling Legislation and Justice (PiS) party and Brussels fraught, and Brexit looming, the proposal has raised eyebrows. If the referendum gets the Senate’s lunge-forward, Europe may perhaps be searching at.
Mr Duda, a used PiS member, has prolonged argued that Poland’s 1997 structure wants updating. On June twelfth he proposed 15 questions spanning a hotch-potch of issues, from social protection to meals security, together with a reference to “Poland’s and Europe’s over-thousand-twelve months Christian heritage” to the preamble. Two of the questions heart of attention on Poland’s relationship with the EU. Essentially the most important asks whether or no longer Poland’s EU membership wants to be constitutionally assured. The a bunch of asks whether or no longer the structure ought to enshrine its be pleased primacy over world and European regulation.
The timing is awkward. The Polish govt is locked in a prolonged dispute with the European Fee, which has warned that its judicial reforms undermine the guideline of regulation. Twenty-seven out of Seventy two Supreme Court docket judges may perhaps be forced to retire within the origin of July. Time is working out: Warsaw has been given till June Twenty sixth to assuage Brussels’ concerns. If no longer, Warsaw may perhaps perhaps in notion have its vote casting rights within the EU suspended, even though that continues to be unlikely. More realistically, the European Fee wants to connect a mechanism that would within the good deal of EU funds, of which Poland is the greatest beneficiary, for worldwide locations where the guideline of regulation is at possibility.
Neither Mr Duda nor PiS is asking for a “Polexit”. Nonetheless since PiS came to vitality in 2015 Eurosceptic rhetoric has surged. Fancy Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, PiS opposes what he recently known as “delusional nightmares of a United States of Europe”. “Sovereignty” is the buzz note in Warsaw. In a speech final month, Mr Duda went to this point as to liken EU membership to the 1795 partition of Poland, which wiped the country off the draw for 123 years.
Poles remain broadly pro-European. Some 70% of them think that EU membership is correct for the country, above the EU average of 60%, in accordance to the most modern Eurobarometer perceive. Few desire Poland to leave the EU (Eleven%, in contrast to 83% for staying in). Within the meantime, enthusiasm for the referendum remains low. Even PiS has kept its distance, fearing a glum turnout.
Soundless, Mr Duda’s questions have precipitated a tear. Among liberals, they have stoked fears that PiS is main the country in direction of Polexit. Within the meantime, on June Sixteenth, the (puny) National Lunge announced efforts to book Poland out of the EU. Mr Duda argues that enshrining Poland’s EU membership within the structure will “make stronger” its presence within the bloc. But, as Britain’s referendum exhibits, he’s taking half in with fire.