Tuula Koponen has a very interesting account of Poland’s troubled relationship with the European Union in Diplomaatia.ee. It seems like a love-hate relationship where Poland is in opposition to almost everything that the EU stands for, yet the EU is extremely popular among Poles with an 88 percent approval rating.
Kaczyński’s policy in Poland is based on the same values as Orbán’s in Hungary. Family, faith and fatherland are important. Both swear allegiance to democracy, but both find liberal democracy and multiculturalism as abhorrent as repressive communist power.
Poland thinks, like Hungary, that it is fighting foreign dominance. And, just like Hungary, Poland also wants to become a model state that the rest of Europe can learn from.
It is said that Orbán’s “illiberal democracy” has the same origin as Vladimir Putin’s in Russia. Even though the Polish model may look the same from outside, it is never acknowledged. Russia is now a strategic partner for Hungary, but Poland’s main enemy. Polish identity is based on opposition to Russia.
On the surface this has little to do with defense politics, but in the long term it is dangerous for the alliance cohesion if Poland has dramatically different values from the other NATO countries in the Baltic region.