Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has called for an increase in the strategic partnership between the US and Europe. Speaking in Washington, D.C., he rebuffed comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron, who suggested European countries should distance themselves from the US to confront China over Taiwan. Unlike France, Poland is a keen ally of the US, pushing for US soldiers to be stationed on its territory and turning to US companies for its recent arms deals totalling $1.4bn and $4.6bn for Abrams tanks and F-35 fighter jets respectively. Morawiecki warned that Macron’s idea of European “strategic autonomy” aims to cut links between Europe and the US, which is against the interests of most European countries.
Poland is one of Ukraine’s strongest allies in the ongoing war with Russia, with Morawiecki declaring his country’s alliance with the US as the best path for Poland. Poland is access ground for Ukraine, which funnels weapons, ammunition, and aid to the country through its roads, railways and airports, and has lifted the country’s perception within the NATO alliance from that of a marginal member. Warszaw doesn’t have an issues with NATO countries building military industries or hitting its 2% GDP defence spending target but doesn’t want ties with the US to be weakened.
Morawiecki said that a “New Europe” remembers and recognises the threat from Russia, which differs from France and Germany’s old Europe that failed, as discussed in a joint news conference with US Vice President Kamala Harris. Morawiecki stressed how strong relations with the US are necessary for Europe, in contrast to Macron’s strategic autonomy proposal.
The idea of the EU creating some strategic autonomy has had increasing importance as the US-China relationship has become a mounting concern, and it remains to be seen whether other countries such as Germany take up Macron’s proposal. For Poland, it is a steadfast ally of the US in the region, and this year voiced concerns over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline into Germany from Russia, a move that would weaken Ukraine’s position as an energy transit country for the EU.