Latvia’s War Concerns – Neutrals for NATO? — Polish MEP Patryk Jaki – POLITICO
By CRISTINA GONZALEZ, ANDREW GRAY and PAUL DALLISON
Welcome to EU Confidential, bringing you the latest from our podcast and a satirical look at the week’s news.
Patryk Jaki, Polish Member of the European Parliament
Patryk Jaki is one of the strongest defenders of the Polish government in the European Parliament, which gives him a lot to do.
Warsaw is being criticized for a growing number of rule of law problems, as well as media freedom and opposition to EU climate policies.
We are far from his first steps in politics, taken at the age of 20 in his hometown of Opole, in the south-west of Poland. After complaining about the state of a dilapidated football pitch, he ran for city council and became its youngest member.
He built a better estate, then moved into national politics. A member of United Poland – part of the ruling right-wing United Coalition dominated by the Law and Justice party – he teamed up in 2015 with Zbigniew Ziobro, the justice minister who pushed sweeping judicial reforms that put Warsaw at loggerheads with Brussels.
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These rule of law concerns could see the EU withhold €36bn of pandemic recovery funds and potentially over €120bn of other EU liquidity; Warsaw also faces millions in fines for ignoring a court order to freeze a body set up to discipline judges.
Jaki had answers to these accusations.
He pointed to other EU countries where “the politicians appoint the judges… so when someone tries to tell us that the Polish system is more politicized than in Germany, for us [this] is a joke.”
However, these systems are in accordance with their constitutions, while critics claim that the Polish reforms are not, a claim that Jaki disputed.
“I’m pretty sure this system is still in line with the Polish constitution,” Jaki told POLITICO’s Jan Cienski.
He acknowledged that the reforms – which have produced a growing number of judges whose legal status is in question – are “chaotic”, but pleaded for more time to complete them.
It’s not the rule of law all the time.
Jaki is also on the warpath against the EU’s Fit for 55 climate package, which he says poses a huge risk to Poland’s coal-dependent economy.
“We need more time,” Jaki said.
In the European Parliament since 2019 with the European Conservatives and Reformists, he has also played a leading role in the debate on the regulation of terrorist content online.
WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THIS WEEK
Baltic view: POLITICO’s Charlie Duxbury calls in from Latvia to report on how residents of the Baltic nation are dealing with the prospects of another war in their neighborhood.
Neutrals for NATO: Are tensions over Ukraine pushing traditionally neutral Sweden and Finland closer to NATO membership?
Boris’ shots: Our UK political correspondent, Annabelle Dickson, uncovers Boris Johnson’s strategy on Ukraine and how the party scandals surrounding the Prime Minister may play into matters.
Wanted: PR specialists to help deal with fallout from cake ambushes and online erotica
Welcome to Declassified, a weekly column on the lighter side of politics.
First of all, congratulations to the Dutch politician Little Kox, who was elected President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe despite the refusal of my kind offer to be his campaign manager and to run under the slogan “The rise of Tiny Kox! »
There is of course no shortage of campaign managers and public relations specialists, and also a glut of politicians who really need them. Take Boris Johnson and his cronies, who have continued to party in the Conservative Party and have to deal with almost daily reports of lockdown strikes.
Things came to a ridiculous height when Johnson ally Conor Burns was chased/forced at gunpoint to defend the PM on Channel 4 News and said a 2020 birthday reunion for Johnson while the country was in lockdown was no party at all and instead the Prime Minister was “ambushed with a cake”. Bookmakers have stopped taking bets on someone smashing a Black Forest cake in Burns face during the week.
Another Johnson sidekick, Cabinet minister Nadine Dorries, said it had all been blown out of proportion and that people had simply stopped working “for ten minutes to sing happy birthday”. Remember when we were told to wash one’s hands as long as it takes to sing the happy birthday song twice to ward off the coronavirus? Imagine how many times you could sing that song in 10 minutes (or how clean your hands would be!)?
Things are so bad that police are now investigating whether any lockdown raids took place at 10 Downing Street in breach of COVID-19 rules. It’s the Metropolitan Police led by Cressida Dick, of course.
Yes, it’s Tiny Kox, Johnson and Dick, all slang expressions for male genitalia – or the world’s most ridiculed law firm.
And for those hoping the tone of this article can only get better from now on, bad news. It is thanks to the Italian Senate, which held an online discussion which was briefly interrupted by animated porn in what may have been the most embarrassing sex-based online reunion since New York writer Jeffrey Toobin decided to, uh, knock down a column during a business Zoom call.
An unidentified person was able to tune into a meeting of the upper house of the Italian parliament – which rather awkwardly featured Nobel Prize-winning physicist Giorgio Parisi as a guest – and started playing an erotic game featuring the characters from the popular video game series. “Final Fantasy”.
I know what you are thinking but no, Silvio Berlusconi is not a sitting member of the Senate.
“5, 4, 3. 2. 1…”
Can you do better? E-mail [email protected] or on Twitter @pdallisonesque
Last week, we gave you this picture:
Thanks for all the entries. Here’s the best of our mailbag (there’s no price other than the gift of laughter, which I think we can all agree is much more valuable than money or booze).
“Seriously guys! We were 25 minutes before someone realized Putin sent us a freaking wax figure? by Guus Evers.
Paul Dalison is POLITICSit is slot machine news editor.
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