Polish PM: Questioning NATO Treaty a Threat to Collective Defense

By Ella Kietlinska, Epoch Times
November 20, 2019 Updated: November 20, 2019

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Nov. 19, any moves to question the collective defense guarantee included in the NATO treaty were a threat to the future of the European Union and the military alliance.

Morawiecki outlined his proposed policies in a speech to parliament after his political party won the election in October. He and his cabinet then won the confidence vote getting a mandate to take power.

When talking about Poland’s international policies, Morawiecki said, “NATO is the most powerful military alliance in the world’s history.”

“Just as the European Union is the guarantee of the continental order, NATO takes care of the global order,” Morawiecki said. He added that “Poland is and must continue to be an integral part of  both of these organisms.”

“The voices of some leaders questioning Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, or the failure to fulfill our obligations to the Alliance—that is, spending 2 percent of the GDP on defense—weaken our security, threaten the future of the European Union and NATO. We will counteract this,” Morawiecki said.

Article 5 of the Washington Treaty outlines the NATO fundamental principle of collective defense. According to its provision, if any NATO ally is attacked, each other member of the Alliance treats this act as an attack on all NATO members and will take any necessary action to defend the attacked ally.

Morawiecki also stressed that Poland “will defend the alliance between Europe and the U.S.”

He noted that Europe needs to return to its roots of Christian values.

“In the Far East, the Middle East, and in the East that is the closest to us, there are international players that are willing to take advantage of Europe’s weaknesses. That is why we want an ambitious European Union that is open to accepting new members, open to the Western Balkans,” said Morawiecki.

He noted that if the European Union does not present a realistic offer to its neighboring countries, then other countries like China, Russia, or ideologies like radical Islam will seize the opportunity.

“We are taking responsibility for Poland, but we are also ready to take joint responsibility for our region, central Europe and the European Union,” said Morawiecki.

Morawiecki also said the EU should continue to work closely with the United Kingdom after it leaves the EU bloc.

French President Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron during a news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris on April 25, 2019. (Philippe Wojazer/Reuters)

Earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macron told The Economist that NATO was experiencing “brain death,” citing a lack of coordination and American unpredictability under President Donald Trump.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks at a forum about NATO at The Anthem in Washington on April 3, 2019. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

In response to Macron’s remarks, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Nov. 14 after meeting with President Trump: “NATO is strong, and NATO has implemented the biggest reinforcement of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War. For the first time in our history, we have combat-ready troops in the eastern part of the Alliance, in the Baltic countries and Poland. We have tripled the size of the NATO Response Force; we have modernized the command structure and, not least, the European Allies and Canada are now investing more in defense and buying modern equipment. So the reality is that NATO is actually stronger and more agile than we have been for many, many years.”

When asked whether he was concerned about NATO’s future, Stoltenberg said that despite its differences, NATO is able to unite around its core task based on its principle of “one for all and all for one.” Stoltenberg also warned that “any attempt to distance Europe from North America” will not only weaken the transatlantic bond but will also divide Europe.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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