Polska wobec przywództwa Niemiec w Unii Europejskiej
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Poland towards German Leadership in the European Union
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The main thesis of this paper is that since 1989 the Polish attitude towards the role of Germany in the EU and towards German’s emerging leadership in it: 1) varies in time; 2) is poorly conceptualized; 3) divides the Polish political scene. The scale of compatibility/incompatibility of the interests of Poland and those of Germany varied over time in the period in question. Compatible to it the Polish ability/inability to accept the leading role of Germany in the EU was dynamic. The years 1989-1990 were marked with the dispute on the final recognition of the border and on the problem of the transit of the Soviet troops being evacuated from the Eastern Germany through Polish territory. 1991-2002 was a time of far reaching compatibility of strategic goals of Poland and those of Germany (NATO and the EU enlargements). 2003-2007 was a period of strategic contradictions (the US role in Europe, eastern policy, decision making process in the EU Council, „gas mains geopolitics”, climate policy). There has been a profound turn in the Polish Eastern, German, and American policies that results in a deep internal political division in Poland as far as the perception and acceptance of the role of Germany is concerned since the end of 2007. The above periodization should be considered in the context of the evolution of Germany’s role in the EU determined by two turning points – the unification (1990) and the EMU crisis (2010 - ?). The dynamics of the Polish capability to accept (or not to do so) the GDR leadership in the EU depends therefore on the evolution of the international situation and the evolution of the EU political system, as well as on the character of the political forces at power in Poland and on the nature of the German policies on the EU, Poland, Russia and the US.
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