By: Franci Kindlhofer
When we hear what two prominent Slovenian MEPs, Tanja Fajon and Ljudmila Novak, think about the rejection of the European Court of Justice’s appeals by Hungary and Poland, we need to listen very carefully. Namely, both share the European Court of Justice’s view that sanctions in the form of cuts in European funding for these two countries for non-compliance with the rule of law are in place. We must ask ourselves, what is their real motive for advocating such a decision? It is true that friendship ends with money. There are quite a few countries in the European Community that are recipients of money from the common European pot for the development of their economy. This pot is being filled from countries called net contributors. That is, they invest more in this pot than they get back. So, this is their taxpayers’ money. Spending such money, of course, cannot go unchecked. Due to the often-unsettled political situation and the lack of control apparatuses in the recipient countries, the risk of corruption and misuse is high. Therefore, control of consumption is definitely in place. However, as these are sovereign states in all cases, it is very important to have instruments in place to ensure effective control on the one hand, and on the other hand this control must not interfere with that country’s sovereignty or even try to influence its internal affairs.
Before joining the EU, each plenipotentiary member had to harmonise its legislation with common standards that are already in force and must be complied with by all members. But after the collapse of communism, a special problem arose that Western European countries with a long democratic tradition were unaware of, namely, the transition of countries that had a communist system to a free democratic system based on the Western model. In all so-called transition countries, the permeation of societies with the inevitable remnants of the communist order still plays an important role in the transformation into a democratic order. This problem is reflected not only in the field of governance, the necessary changes in the judiciary, the economy, education policy and elsewhere, but also in the mindset of citizens. Whole generations grew up and were brought up and educated in the socialist spirit. In overcoming the past, the former German Democratic Republic is certainly a major exception here, as its western, older, and wealthier sister simply adopted it. This, however, also meant that the old, communist system was immediately exchanged with the Western one throughout the territory.
Here, however, I must point out a special point of interest. None of the EU members at the time, let alone Brussels, got involved in how West Germany immediately changed its regime to the East, subordinated its internal administration and all important institutions to the West. No one spoke of any violation of the rule of law. Therefore, in cases where the countries of the former socialist camp are being looked at with an argus eye, why should these countries, according to Brussels, not be allowed to do what Germany did? On the spot, all these new members, unlike the Western ones, have one rich experience more, namely a negative experience with the communist dictatorship.
It is precisely the way Brussels is behaving towards Poland that seems to me not only disrespectful but also completely irrational. Historically, Poland has repeatedly been an important link in rescuing Europe, but it has never been rewarded or at least given the necessary recognition. Its positive role in Europe began with its successful help in the siege of Vienna, then in 1920 they prevented the Bolsheviks from penetrating the West, suffered enormous losses in World War II and, in addition, a communist occupation by the Soviet Union. Poland also played a very important role in the overthrow of communism in Eastern Europe. That Poland is a true defender of Europe has also been shown in its resolute stance against attempts by Belarus and Putin to place an additional burden on Western Europe with organised imported migrants. However, the fact that this verdict fell precisely at the time of the greatest crisis, when we are threatened by Putin’s aggressive policy, raises a question whether the judges in Brussels are Europeans at all.
These two ladies from the European Parliament, Tanja Fajon and Ljudmila Novak, are not even surprising with their statements. Ljudmila Novak said it out of pure selfishness, as she knows that disturbing government policy is best honoured by the left. Tanja Fajon has completely different motives. She, as an ardent supporter of communism, sees European social development as an opportunity to pursue her leftist goals. She is not interested in how the rule of law works in Poland or Hungary. This is not a matter of interest to the Communists. She advocates only instruments that can discipline those countries that do not want to go down the left and are hindering the long-term plans of the European left to create a Europe without nations, without identity, without morals, without spiritual values and socially dependent on privileged red autocrats. It is therefore nothing special that she, with a bunch of like-minded people in the European Parliament, is seeking to create a kind of BRUSSELS INTERNATIONALE, through which, as Moscow did it, they would control EU member states, and only those who obey the system could prosper. Of course, then there will be no Russian tanks on the border of Ukraine, but probably in Normandy.
Franci Kindlhofer is a publicist, vice-president of the Association of Political Prisoners and Other Victims of Communist Violence.