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Poland, Hungary… And soon also France? Manifesto for a Conservative Alliance in the European Parliament

The largest conservative parties in Europe have just reached an agreement that may soon manifest itself in a political alliance in the European Parliament. But can this principled opposition go as far as the fundamental reform that the European institutions so desperately need, ask David Engels, a professor at the Free University of Brussels and the Instytut Zachodni in Poznań, and Krzysztof Tyszka-Drozdowski, an analyst in a Polish government agency dealing with industrial policy.

Europe’s largest conservative parties have finally reached an agreement in principle on their values and their future cooperation – an agreement that can soon manifest itself in a political alliance in the European Parliament. While this alliance could become one of the strongest groups in parliament, given the current political constellation, there is little hope that the “cordon sanitaire” will be broken and that the path from a principled opposition to a fundamental reform that the drifting apart European institutions so desperately need.

Certainly, Poland and Hungary are showing day by day what successes a patriotic and conservative government can achieve, but the pressure they face is so great that their influence on developments in Europe remains limited. An election victory for the RN (or the movement of Éric Zemmour in France) or the two conservative parties in Italy, on the other hand, could seem like an avalanche. Of course, just as in the US after the election of Donald Trump, the Deep State and the well-meaning elites will do everything in their power to sabotage such a government, and especially in France it will be difficult to bring about change without a parliamentary majority. Nevertheless, the shaking of the globalist order would be considerable, especially if it were to coordinate closely with the other conservative parties and governments in Europe.

In the case of France, this would mean, above all, turning to Poland – well, one would be tempted to say, because the relative disinterest of the conservative elites in the current Polish government is an important tactical mistake. What could be the challenges and prospects of such a potential cooperation between the Polish PiS and the patriotic right in France, especially in view of the current duplication of the presidential candidates of the latter and the ideological uncertainty that is currently spreading there?
Internal development

For a long time, the European Conservatives were so factional that it would be relevant to ask oneself whether the term “conservative” itself still has a meaning. Sovereignism against Occidentalism, Russophilia against Atlantism, Christianity against secularism, liberalism against Christian socialists – conservatism is a universe of its own with internal divisions that are often more pronounced than the largely feigned divisions between the well-meaning “left” and the “right”. Will it be possible to overcome these historical divisions, which are often exacerbated by old historical resentments between factions, parties and states? Yes, but there is a price to pay: the price of burying a series of resentments (and hopes) to focus all energy on the points that are crucial to a political victory.

Poland is an excellent example of this approach, and the ideological choices of the current government seem to be a realistic and pragmatic inspiration for other conservative parties in Europe.

“This is how Poland has opted for Eurorealism: instead of seeking the dissolution of the European Union (which would only lead to the emergence of the old political asymmetries in Europe and would also be highly unpopular with citizens), Poland prefers to focus on a fundamental reform of the institutions and maintains cooperation in areas such as defence, migration policy, infrastructure, the fight against crime, research or economic and legal harmonisation is essential.”

In the field of identity, Poland emphasizes the importance of the Christian heritage and regards secularism as practiced in France, i.e. with a clearly anti-Christian and Islamophile bias, as a dead end: only the defense of a strong national culture, anchored in a positive attitude towards the spiritual values of the past, can prevent the atomization resulting from multiculturalist doctrine. Finally, in the economic sphere, Poland insists on the state’s obligation to protect its citizens from the excesses of ultra-liberalism and has launched a comprehensive social programme to protect the lower and middle classes.

In addition, there is an extremely clear stance on migration, LGBTQ ideology, abortion, natalism and euthanasia; it quickly becomes clear that the Polish government has been pursuing a policy for many years that in many respects corresponds to the demands of the French conservatives. A deeper alliance between France’s strongest right-wing party and Poland’s ruling party could therefore be of great interest to both sides in order to form a strong engine for the new conservative alliance in Europe.

Political balance in Europe

At first glance, the French right should have everything in common with the Polish conservatives. We agree on the failures of the European Union. We agree on the issue of immigration. We agree that liberalism, as John Milbank puts it, is an anthropological mistake, since the community must take precedence over the desires of the individual, which today are elevated to the Absolute. We agree that the individual can fully develop through the community and not outside of it, that happiness depends on rootedness, while uprooting and denial of the past undermine it. But despite these similarities, there is not just one bone of contention – Russia – but a second: Germany.

The Question of Russia is obvious: many French intellectuals cultivate a romantic idea of Russia that dates back to the 19th century and is nourished by the patriotic conservatism of Vladimir Putin. While it is true that this ideologically at first glance is more in line with a traditionalist worldview than the policies pursued by the current US administration, the French would do well not to turn a blind eye to the dark side of Putin’s government, whose corruption defies comparison, in which dissidents not only use their Twitter and Facebook accounts, but are also deprived of their freedom, and which pursues an expansionist and hegemonic agenda that is clearly directed against the inviolability of borders, which is so fundamental to the European balance – and so vital for the survival of states such as Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic States. A compromise between Polish and French conservatism is therefore only possible on the basis of an equidistance between East and West.

This equidistance encounters the second bone of contention: Germany. It is undisputed that Germany has (again) become a hegemonic power in Europe. Now Russia’s biggest ally in Europe is not France, but Germany. Just one example, the most recent: it was not France that built Nord Stream II. It is true that the French have a romantic idea of Russia, but the French elite lives above all in an illusion about Germany. The german-French pair is an expression used only in the hexagon; the Germans never use it.

So it was Angela Merkel’s Germany that blew up the Dublin Regulation for immigrants when the Chancellor, without asking anyone – and above all without taking into account the european peoples – brought the wave of immigrants into the country that flooded Europe; it was Merkel’s Germany that rejected Bruno Le Maire’s proposed European tax on digital giants in order to prevent an increase in tariffs on German cars; it is Germany that has imposed an austerity policy that permanently ruins the south of the continent in order to benefit from an undervalued (German) euro and to assert its industrial hegemony; it is Germany that is in the process of imposing its left-ecological ideological agenda on Europe through Ursula von der Leyen’s Green Deal, etc.

“German hegemony over Europe is characterized by the fact that a large proportion of Germans are convinced that they are being exploited by Europe and even support leaving the EU.”

They are not wrong: all the political and economic power that unites the German elite does not benefit the German citizen, whose median wealth is far below that of most of its neighbors, but drives an economic policy machine that is far from ordinary mortals. For example, the German taxpayer is used to finance EU subsidies, most of which are paid to states in the east of the EU. However, most of the surpluses generated there not only flow back to Germany, but also enrich banks, multinational corporations and holdings that bring these profits to safety outside Europe.

It is therefore high time for European conservatives to acknowledge this asymmetry and try to resolve it. Since in the current political situation a voluntary restructuring of the German economy seems impossible, France would do well to reflect on the eternal French tradition, which from the Ancien Régime to de Gaulle has tried to ensure that Europe never falls under the hegemony of a single power. France had the greatest influence on events on the continent when it gathered states around it that wanted to remain free and did not want the hegemony of another. Today, this policy must be recreated. France alone is too weak to decide the fate of the continent, as is the Central European coalition. An alliance between Paris and the small and medium-sized nations will restore a Europe of fatherlands in which Germany can find a place that is more conducive to the balance of power and fairer to the taxpayer.

Regaining economic, digital and energy sovereignty

The idea of European sovereignty does not belong to Macron. It is a Gaullist idea, because we must see in de Gaulle the true father of a united Europe, even more so than in those whom we celebrated as founding fathers in the American manner. Today, all intelligent European populists and conservatives should be Gaullists.

Europe will only become an independent geopolitical power when it regains its sovereignty in the energy, industrial and digital sectors. However, this sovereignty encounters ideological barriers. Nuclear energy, which is the fastest means of decarbonisation – as the experience of France or South Korea has shown – still raises fears fuelled by an outdated green radicalism of 50 years ago. Progress in the field of nuclear energy is being held back by ideological hysteria sanctioned by the Merkel government’s statements. The New Green Deal must be focused on development and modernisation, not on smashing European industry and lowering living standards.

We must defend ourselves against a punitive ecology that not only wants to deprive us of the European lifestyle, but also to suffocate all development forces. At the same time, we must be aware that the post-industrial economy is a myth and that anyone who believes in it condemns themselves to weakness. Germany has never believed in it, it has preserved its industrial base, and from it derives its economic strength, even if this is increasingly called into question by the suicide ideology of the Greens and the Left, which would herald the end not only of Germany itself, but of all of Europe. A well-thought-out reindustrialisation policy at continental level, which is linked to broad cooperation on major projects, is a prerequisite for European sovereignty. In order to restore this, European manufacturers must be brought back to Europe through incentives and binding measures. This is not only about economic growth, but also about security. During the China virus crisis, we saw what it meant to move supply chains to Asia: no masks, no important medicines. It turned out that there was not even a single factory for paracetamol in Europe.

The recovery of digital sovereignty will not only take place through increased funding of R&D and the creation of a European network for cooperation in these areas. Reasonable protectionism must be proposed, without which the European equivalents of the GAFAMs will not emerge.

In parallel with protectionism aimed at creating European digital giants, the situation of European workers needs to be reconsidered. The downward pressure on wages will not stop if we do not stop immigration. European workers are our priority, which is why European preference should be introduced. Those born in Europe, whose fathers built our civilization, have the right to work on its future.

“The advantages of a European conservative alliance focused on the Paris-Warsaw axis therefore seem obvious, and it would be desirable that not only conservative politicians, but also conservative intellectuals and academics deepen their contacts and initiate a bilateral exchange that leads to concrete strategic projects. We are convinced that the Polish model could serve as an inspiration to resolve the internal disagreements within the patriotic right in France.”

One of the most urgent points of such cooperation would be the deepening of cooperation in the media and academic fields, since on both sides opinions about the conservative neighboring partners are still strongly dominated by prejudices and defamations spread by the clearly left-leaning mainstream media and the equally biased academic “experts”: the citizen can tell the truth about the challenges. and actors of contemporary challenges only if they have high-quality and ideologically undistorted information.

We other European Conservatives have waited too long and missed too many opportunities. We all know that we can only meet the challenges of the multipolar world if we are united. We cannot unite on the basis of ideological illusions or false calculations. It would be naïve to think that nothing separates us. However, it would be a big mistake not to grasp the potential of what unites us.

By David Engels and Krzysztof Tyszka-Drozdowski

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