Poland does not need lessons in democracy says PM

Michael Kappeler/PAP/DPA

Poland has one of Europe’s oldest traditions of statehood and “does not need to be trained in democracy and the rule of law,” Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, said in Berlin on Monday.

His comments appear to be references to a protracted dispute between Warsaw and Brussels that has resulted in Poland being locked out of a multi-billion dollar euro fund owing to EU concerns that the Polish government is undermining democracy and the rule of law.

"The war in Ukraine has shown how far Europe reaches, it has shifted Europe's centre of gravity," said Morawiecki.

"Our identity is part of the European identity. Poland is not only the younger sister of older European countries. Polishness is one of the many faces of Europeanness," he added.

Morawiecki said that Poland has "one of the oldest traditions of statehood in Europe and that the Polish constitution was the first in Europe."

"Poland is not a young democracy, the history of democracy in Poland dates back to the 15th century. Poles do not need to be trained in democracy or the rule of law," he said.

According Morawiecki, "the only thing we should learn together is the appropriate level of cooperation for the future of Europe" and that "union should not be confused with unification".

"Europe is many cultures and languages," he continued. "Diversity is a heritage for which we are jointly responsible. A Europe governed by only two or three capitals will lead us towards oligarchy," he warned, adding that this is contrary to the principles of democracy and "the general European interest."