And Przemyslaw Czarnek has vowed to teach children in his country what he regards as the truth about Brussels during lessons aimed at strengthening Polish identity. Mr Czarnek was speaking during a week in which Poland found itself at loggerheads with the bloc once more.
Yesterday the 35-strong delegation of MEPs who are members of the Law and Justice party (PiS) drew criticism after voting against a proposal to offer the European Parliament oversight of how money from its £677billion coronavirus rescue fund was spent.
Former Polish Prime Minister and European Council President Donald Tusk was among those who weighed in, tweeting: “Shame on you” in a remark aimed at the right-wing party which heads up Poland’s Government, led by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
The incident served to highlight ongoing tensions with the EU.
Speaking to Radio Wroclaw, Mr Czarnek, who is also a member of PiS, touted education reforms unveiled this week as parr of the Government’s new Polish Deal programme.
He explained: “These will include Poland’s access to and functioning within the EU and the evolution of the EU from a lawful to an unlawful entity.
“Because today it is an unlawful entity that does not adhere to its own legal framework. We see that clearly”.
He added: “If Poles do not know their past, are not tied to their identity, Poland will not develop naturally.
“Many Poles see greatness somewhere abroad instead of looking at what is great in Polish history.
“We have given a lot to Europe. Knowledge of this should be greater so that we can feel pride that we are Poles.”
Mr Czarnek’s remarks drew a rapid rebuke from arch-federalist and Brexit critic, Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt.
The former Belgian Prime Minister tweeted: “Poland should be proud of its achievements, like being a great member of the EU, adhering to the rule of law & democracy, with all the rights & freedoms that implies… including the freedom to think critically and teach children to think for themselves.”
His post drew a mixed response, with several suggesting Mr Czarnek’s remarks were prompted by the EU’s behaviour.
One commented: “Keep your hands off Poland. We didn’t join this. It meant to be trading block, where we all are independent nations, decide about our culture, immigration, education etc. You want to turn into superstate run by unelected commission and judges!”
Another added: “Guy despite your opinion I do not believe the #EU to be a people’s democracy.
“It is a bureaucratic consensus that makes decisions that it believes to be right, but initiates actions that are often detrimental to those working class people who unwittingly fund them.”
However, Plamen Neykov was more supportive, posting: “It is quite hypocritical from the populist Polish government to condemn while taking the money with both hands.
“The EU needs to link the EU funds with rule of law urgently. This is a situation we cannot longer tolerate.”