Polish PM bemoans "double standard" on democracy in Europe
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote on Facebook on Saturday that in Europe a "double standard" is applied to assessing democracy and that richer EU countries" too nonchalantly criticise" countries of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region.
In his comment, the prime minister referred to meetings of the heads of government of eight countries, who last Monday debated in Slovenia on the subject of Europe's future post-Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic. At the forum in the Slovenian city of Bled, the heads of government of Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Italy, Serbia and Bulgaria participated.
"Dears, during the recent Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia, I argued that not only in Poland do we feel the application in Europe of double standards in assessing the state of democracy on our continent," Morawiecki wrote.
According to the Polish PM, "rich EU countries, who have not experienced communism for themselves, too nonchalantly criticise our countries, and formulate unfair accusations."
"My words on this subject aroused great emotion on the Forum, as it turns out that the Slovenian government and the governments of other countries have the same feeling," he went on.
"With full conviction we can say that in Central and Eastern Europe life is getting better all the time: not only are we quickly making up the economic distance, but life is also safer here, and the democratic dispute over ideas and politics is much richer than in many Western European countries that criticise us," the PM wrote.
At the Bled Forum, Morawiecki argued that remarks aimed at the CEE region by Brussels were fuelled by fears of its growing competitiveness, saying it was blamed because it was developing. He called on the EU to fully implement the principle of free movement of services and expressed the conviction that because the other three freedoms - the movement of capital, people and goods - favoured countries of the west and are fully administered, it was not possible to talk about the principle of free movement of services, in which the countries of Central Europe have an advantage.
He gave as an example the EU regulations on the Mobility Package and delegated workers, of which he said: "To all our friends who say we should be muted, I say: competition is good."