GAS Nord Stream 2 15 February, 2019 10:00 am   
Editorial staff

Kowal: Nord Stream 2 in Goral

Nord Stream 2 is the stumbling block of European integration. People look at it as a test that tells us something about the real intentions of European countries. There are of course many matters on the basis of which it is possible to investigate whether the integrators today are honest: in many cases the test would probably go very well, but the Nord Stream pipeline can not be missed in this discussion. The EU must make this attempt and in the meantime the effect of this attempt may be weak – writes Paweł Kowal, a former deputy minister of foreign affairs, a historian.

We have, therefore, “translating into Goral” this story: the European Commission is making a proposal to solve a problem in the spirit of the Treaty of Lisbon, the matter is obvious and in the European interest. By the way, interests of Ukraine, EU’s most important ally in the East, are on the table. This is also the question of the EU’s reputation and even of the West as a whole in the game with Russia, and the opportunity to check Washington’s intention that declares the fight against the Nord Stream 2 concept. It would be an excellent opportunity to strengthen the Euro-Atlantic Alliance on energy security. In the meantime, a mechanism of French-German consultations is being launched, that is, the spirit of the Élysée Treaty that was recently completed in Aachen is revived. Here is the power of politics. How many comments were there in Poland that the Aachen Treaty was a list of wishful thinking, and yet the principle of close consultation of each case worked, and perhaps at the back we still have Russian lobbying for one of the sides. As Poland, during the vote on the gas directive, we achieved a Pyrrhic victory – the concessions made to other members of the Union were insignificant in relation to the strength of the French-German iron ties. It was only the intervention of the European Parliament in the trilogue that improved the records and showed who in Europe can be counted on.

The whole problem is to draw the right conclusions now. Donald Tusk in Aachen may have been right when, last time during the ceremony, as the head of the European Council, he spoke in Polish, warning the signatories of the new act that France and Germany are not everything. Or maybe Elmar Brok, an old fox of European politics, is right, who observes in one of the farewell interviews before leaving Poland on the side and puts the matter like this: Poland should be a signatory in Aachen. Perhaps instead of criticizing the integration process, it is better to include it even more by forcing us to be involved in the process of political consultations, also based on the additional obligations of states? Maybe the old timer is right? Perhaps it is that there is a critical mass of Poland’s connections in the EU, after which we will no longer be able to sleep us away from the West not for love nor money. One thing is for sure. Lack of the Union or relying only on the US is no cure for the troubles with the gas pipeline. In the first case, nobody would even consider a conversation with us, in the other one it is obvious that the Americans would somehow communicate with the Germans there. This is called realism.