Poland’s hard-line negotiations style at the EU summit may have helped it win some concessions in the new treaty, but the question is how much has it damaged relations with some key European partners. On the streets of Warsaw there was mixed reaction. One man said: “It probably wasn’t worth it, though looking at the outcome it was effective. We’ll see what happens next, if Poland loses out through taking this hard line.”
While a woman was more supportive of her leaders’ approach. She said: “I think that it’s good that we finally reached a compromise, that we backed off, but I think that being stubborn will benefit us in the long term.
Analysts say that the ability to building alliances within the EU is particularly important for a country’s position in the bloc and losing a key ally like Germany could eventually backfire.
In Germany, the Polish tactics and comments about World War Two were no well received. One man on the streets of Berlin said he wouldn’t have been as patient as Chancellor Merkel. He added: “She eventually said she’d go ahead with 26 countries and leave Poland out, but I would have flipped out much earlier than that. I’d have told Poland to come to their senses.” Another man said “Poland wanted more voting rights, but I can’t understand that, especially the statements they made about World War II and the dead that should be counted towards it. I can’t condone that.”
So some were disappointed and some happy, but for the EU, the main thing is the bloc can move forward with a semblance of harmony.