May or may not be a good idea, but Italy invoking the term “axis” in regards to any diplomatic arrangement should arguably be avoided:
The most powerful politician in Italy pledged to give Europe “new blood, new strength, new energy” and “counter the Franco-German axis with the Italo-Polish axis.”
Matteo Salvini, head of Italy’s co-ruling League, and Jarosław Kaczyński, chief of Poland’s governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, met in Warsaw Wednesday afternoon to discuss working together in the European Parliament after May’s election.
They didn’t provide details of what such cooperation might entail but Salvini said they “spoke about the future of Europe and how to give a new sense to the European dream, which has been killed in Brussels in the last years.”
Speaking in the Italian Embassy, Salvini described the talks as “long and constructive.”
“We had very good and satisfactory talks. We agreed on the issue of border security and I received a lot of compliments from the Polish side on how we managed to limit illegal immigration,” Salvini said.
“There is a great historical challenge,” he added, “we have to counter the Franco-German axis with the Italo-Polish axis.”
As far as Brussels is concerned the Italo-Polish axis – or, perhaps even more logically, the Italo-Hungaro-Polish axis – would be another Axis of Evil: the crazy populist against open borders. While the EU money continues to be popular in Poland, other policies, like being forced to accept a seemingly never ending stream of migrants (some no doubt genuine refugees, but mostly economic sojourners) from Africa, the Middle East and Asia, not so much. Sensible immigration is more or less a political consensus in Poland, with even the centre-right and left opposition, which normally decries the “small Poland” policies of the Law and Justice government, not keen to “culturally enrich” Poland via an uncontrolled influx from the developing world. It’s not that Poland is exactly unwelcoming – there are more legal migrants in Poland than just about any other EU country, but they are mostly Ukrainians and Belorussians, who easily fit in Poland due to similar cultural and linguistic background and successfully fill all the job vacancies (somewhere between 1.5 and 2 million). There are occasional social tensions, but nothing compared to the boiling cauldron of the Western Europe, which Poles can watch every night on their TV screens and ponder on the wisdom of the Eurocrats.
The great tragedy of the European immigration policy is that immigration done right benefits both the migrants and their host countries and is much needed across the continent where the natives aren’t having enough children of their own to work the jobs and pay the taxes needed to keep everyone in the social democratic standard they have become accustomed to. But the decades-long social experiment by Brussels culminating over the past few years in a free-for-all has largely soured the populations on the whole idea of accepting foreigners, seeing how many of them don’t want to or have problems acculturating.
The new Warsaw-Rome axis might have some cultural affinities, but don’t expect it to invade Russia anytime soon:
Despite their parallel political interests, there are differences between the two.
Salvini insists that Northern European countries should accept migrants arriving in Italy, while Kaczyński has built his electoral support on refusing any reallocation of asylum seekers. Salvini is also against extensive EU cohesion funds being granted to Central Europe in the next multiannual EU budget, while PiS is advocating for continued generous financial flows.
Kaczyński is also vulnerable to opposition attacks over Salvini’s open support for Russian President Vladimir Putin, a problem in generally anti-Russia Poland.