Friday

18th Aug 2017

Polish TV airs alternative report on EU summit

The flagship news programme on Polish public TV described the Tusk row on Thursday (9 March) as a triumph that laid bare German EU bullying, in a sign of Poland's new political environment.

EU states on Thursday (9 March) snubbed the Polish delegation by re-electing Donald Tusk as Council chief despite fierce opposition by Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo, whose Law and Justice (PiS) party abhors him.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Wiadomosci reported that Poland had "laid bare" the EU's democratic deficit

Most media, including those that were considered loyal to PiS, described it as a fiasco for Warsaw.

But Wiadomosci, the flagship news show of Poland's public broadcaster, TVP, said Tusk had been re-elected due to German pressure and that Poland had achieved its goal by “laying bare” how the EU really worked.

"Today's summit in Brussels demonstrated that the EU lacks democracy, and even the appearance of it," said TVP's reporter after EU heads of state voted 27 to 1 in favour of Tusk.

Viewers were then shown an old clip in which Martin Schulz, a German politician who is running for election in autumn, said the spirit of Europe "may have to be imposed by force".

They were told that the EU had blackmailed Greece back in the day to accept the terms of its bailout; and that the EU was corrupt, incompetent, and wanted to flood Poland with refugees.

TVP said that Tusk, who is despised by PiS chief Jaroslaw Kaczynski, had tried to cover up knowledge of a financial scam in Poland.

The news programme argued people like Tusk were only chosen because EU election procedures were less transparent than Vatican conclaves.

"Some of the most important positions [in the EU] are held by people who likely wouldn't stand a chance if the positions were filled by popular elections", a TVP reporter said, adding that European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker was mixed up in a tax scandal in Luxembourg.

TVP also played a clip of Juncker at a summit in Riga in 2015, when he greeted EU leaders by slapping them on the neck in what looked like he was drunk.

Bundling

The news report bundled its EU coverage with material on the Council of Europe, a separate body based in France.

It said the Council promoted Islamic sharia law, and republished a statement by Kaczynski from 2015 in which he claimed, falsely, that there were 54 sharia zones in Sweden.

"The Council is indeed analysing the compatibility of Sharia law with the European charter of human rights, but hadn't so far taken a position and the elements gathered so far are rather opposed to the conclusions drawn by Polish tv," a press officer for the institution told EUobserver.

PiS took control of public media shortly after coming to power in October 2015.

It also seized control of the constitutional court in a scandal that triggered a special EU monitoring procedure on rule of law.

Polish TV reports now trumpet PiS successes on a daily basis, quoting economists or other experts who all sing the government’s praise.

TVP also promulgates the party’s right-wing values.

In other segments on Thursday, it attacked a gay mayor in the town of Slupsk over travelling to Berlin and accused people at a recent women’s day rally of hate speech.

Obama report

Polish TV already raised eyebrows at last July's Nato summit in Warsaw.

The US president at the time, Barack Obama, met with his Polish counterpart, the PiS party’s Andrzej Duda, and publicly voiced US “concern” over Poland’s “actions” in the constitutional court affair.

Polish TV showed the Obama-Duda meeting, but it silenced the original audio, while a Polish narrator said that Obama had congratulated Duda on Poland’s democratic credentials.

EU re-elects Tusk, Poland isolated

EU leaders took just 30 minutes to vote Donald Tusk back into office, in a diplomatic fiasco for Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo.

Poland snubbed twice in EU summit fiasco

[Updated] Poland tried and failed to block EU summit conclusions shortly after failing to block Tusk’s re-election as Council chief, prompting bitter accusations.

Poland faces 'nuclear option' of EU sanctions

The EU Commission could ask member states to impose sanctions against Poland for its breach of the rule of law in a crucial meeting, though experts say the country is unlikely to be punished.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  2. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  3. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  4. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  5. Russian power most feared in Europe
  6. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  7. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  8. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  2. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  3. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  5. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  7. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  8. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  10. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  11. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  12. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides

Latest News

  1. UK’s childhood obesity strategy, a blueprint for EU countries?
  2. Death toll rising from Barcelona attack
  3. Austrian soldiers to stop migrants from Italy
  4. Chinese road to riches or road to ruin?
  5. UK seeks 'unprecedented' Irish border deal
  6. Merkel: No EU sanctions on migrant quota rebels
  7. UK keen to keep old EU customs deal
  8. Italy backs Libya as NGOs chased out of Mediterranean