"I think that Donald Tusk is doing a lively job leading Poland and setting out a sense of Polish ambition for the European Union. Goodness, it needs one."The passion with wich Poland has taken up the EU Presidency can be traced back to an incident two months ago. In may the eurosceptic Dutch coalition government attracted the wrath of Poland through a discriminatory proposal by Dutch Minister of Social Affairs and Employment Henk Kamp.
In the first press briefing after taking over the EU Presidency, Polish prime-minister made it crystal clear that he had not forgotten:
"Too often do we impede our actions because we are at the crossroads of various interests, various emotions and various traditions. Too often do we see the red light flashing, the red light of exaggerated national accents," said Tusk, speaking through a translator. He explained that the Poles, who had long being deprived of the right to travel, were especially sensitive to this subject."Contrary to expectations, Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski said it was the peripheral members of the EU-15 that had turned out to be the weak links during the crisis rather than the Central and Eastern European countries which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007:
"the economic crisis had strengthened nationalist and far-right groups, leading the governments of many member states to be increasingly "held hostage by right-wing xenophobic reflexes"He cited in particular Denmark and the Netherlands.
Polish EU Presidency might become a rude awakening for Dutch politicians from the ruling Christian Democrats and eurosceptic conservative liberal VVD.
For over a decade current Dutch vice prime-minister Christian Democrat Maxime Verhagen (CDA) and liberal conservative Henk Kamp (VVD) could spread their arrogant message of xenophobia and fear against immigrants while Dutch politicians from all political families just stayed silent.
Henk Kamp's proposal against polish immigrants just might have been one bridge to far. It look likes the boomerang is heading back.
This clearly demonstrates two things:
- Imigrants in Dutch society are not represented in parliament.
- Eastern European states, Hungary with it's first invitation of bloggers to the council, and now Poland attacking "the weakest link" in Europe, are at the heart of the European project.