The real reason Poland is refusing to ratify the Lisbon Treaty
There is quite a bit of chatter going on about Poland’s president Lech Kaczynski’s indication that he is not inclined to sign the Lisbon Treaty until Ireland has resolved its ‘No’ vote. While Cranmer is not clear what remains unresolved about this ‘No’ (will a ‘Yes’ still require resolution?), it is a little puzzling why President Kaczynski is only pausing ‘until’ Ireland has ratified. Either a treaty is in the national interest or it is not, and this delay does not so much deal a further blow to the EU as give Poland a little pause for breath as it adapts to neo-functionalism.
In truth, the delay has nothing to do with Ireland, and everything to do with adopting the exemptions enshrined in the British Protocol. President Kaczynski must thank God that he can stay his hand from signing the instrument of presidential ratification, despite the Polish parliament having already given it assent, until he can ensure that the British Protocol will apply also to Poland. He proclaims: ‘The treaty question is pointless’, and asserts that the Union remains in the absence of this treaty. He insists: ‘The principle of unanimity is binding’, adding that ‘Poland must protect small EU countries' rights as it is not a major power itself’.
And it is his concern with ‘small EU countries’ rights’ which has been taxing his mind since the text of the Treaty was revealed. It is his considered opinion that the Charter of Fundamental Rights will undermine the Roman Catholic ethos of his country because it offers ‘no clear definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman’. This may leave all EU nations ‘open to attacks...by the homosexualist lobby’ and 'force gay marriage' upon them.
"An article of the charter," he said, "...may go against the universally accepted moral order in Poland and force our country to introduce an institution in conflict with the moral convictions of the decided majority of our country." The Polish constitution states that marriage is only between a man and a woman.
And the concern is not only with the erosion of the orthodox teaching on marriage, but also with a woman’s ‘right to choose’. Poland has been in the firing line of the EU’s ‘Enlightenment principles’ since accession, and it remains a concern to the Enlightened Ones that Poland has constitutional protections of natural marriage and the unborn. This is obviously unacceptable discrimination against homosexuals and a breach of women’s rights. Poland remains 90 per cent Roman Catholic, with about 75 per cent regularly attending Mass. This is one of the highest rates of religious practice of any EU countries.
And so President Kaczynski observes: ‘Not everything in the EU is good for Poland’.
But it is heartening indeed that the British Protocol is good for Poland.
Sadly, it is itself of uncertain legal foundation, and is ultimately open to challenge in the European courts.
So someone ought to tell the President to forget ‘until’ and assert a ‘never’.
That is the only way of ensuring that the Christian foundation of Poland’s constitution is not compromised by that of the anti-Christian EU.