Hungarian Conservative

‘You can do anything as long as you’re part of the Brussels elite’ — An Interview with PiS MEP Radosław Fogiel

Polish conservative party Law and Justice MEP Radosław Fogiel,at CPAC Hungary in Budapest on 26 April 2024.
Tamás Gyurkovits/Hungarian Conservative
‘We need to win in each and every country because as conservatives that’s what we believe in, sovereign nation states,’ PiS MEP Radosław Fogiel nailed down in an interview with Hungarian Conservative.

Radosław Fogiel, a Member of the European Parliament representing the Polish Law and Justice (PiS) party, recently visited Hungary to attend CPAC Hungary. While at the conference, he granted an interview to Hungarian Conservative. We asked Mr Fogiel about the performance of the new Polish government under Donald Tusk’s leadership and the upcoming European elections.


It has been almost six months since Donald Tusk’s government took office in Poland. In that time, a lot has happened that confirm the right-wing narrative about the poor effectiveness of liberal-progressive governments. How would you assess the Tusk government’s performance so far?

Well, let me start by saying that a change of power, a change in government is completely normal and usual in every democracy. We were prepared for that. We know that being in power for eight years is a lot. We take the blame for some of the mistakes we did, we are completely fine with the fact that there is a new majority in the parliament. We would never complain about that either at home or abroad. Our plan from day one after the election was to be a reasonable meritocratic opposition, pointing out the mistakes of the government, presenting better ideas and fighting for the votes.

But unfortunately, this is not how our opponents see it.

For them, democracy, a peaceful transition of power, it doesn’t mean anything.

They seem to have this tribal attitude. The winner takes it all and then burns the whole village. So what’s happening in Poland since they took over on 13 December resembles much of the policies of authoritarian governments. The fact that they trying to find any reason to persecute our party, the current opposition is frightening.

Take this for example. There was a group of prosecutors under the current Minister of Justice that was trying to find any wrongdoing regarding the acting of the secret service under Law and Justice (PiS) government. They didn’t find anything, so the group was dismissed. Then Adam Bodnar, Tusk’s Minister of Justice took new prosecutors and told them that they are under pressure to work hard to find something because our former Minister of Internal is running for the European elections.

So they took over the prosecutor’s office, they illegally took over the public media, they do not respect any parliamentary tradition. Our party is the biggest group in the parliament by numbers and we don’t have a member who holds any position in the new parliament. At least, we should have one deputy speaker, but they didn’t allow us to.

On a more optimistic note, the local elections were very successful. We won. We were the most voted party in those elections. Mr Kaczyński (Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of Law and Justice party – ed.) actually quoted Mark Twain during the election night saying: ‘The rumours about my dead are too soon and are greatly exaggerated.’ We did much better than many prognosis, especially those by liberal left media, they thought we will lose everywhere. So it proves that actually the Polish society, Polish voters, they see what’s happening and they do not accept the ways of the current government. Building on that, I really hope that we can also win the European election. It’s not going to be easy. It’s a very hard election for us traditionally. The voters of the current government are more pro-Brussels, so they feel more motivated during the European elections. However, with everything that’s going on, with the fact that since the start of the new government we have farmers protesting against the Green Deal, we’ve seen how inefficient is the government in fighting against the migration pact and so on, we hope that people will take part in the election and vote against all those crazy ideologically woke ideas that are proposed by Brussels.

According to Fogiel, Donald Tusk and his government took over the prosecutor’s office, illegally took over the public media, and do not respect any parliamentary tradition. PHOTO: Tamás Gyurkovits/Hungarian Conservative

The problems you mentioned are not specific to Poland, as we saw at the NatCon conference in Brussels, but also in the case of Hungary—and earlier in the case of Poland—, if we think about the freezing of EU funds.

Exactly, exactly. I think it was Manfred Weber who actually said explicitly that Poland should be a testing ground, that the Polish citizens should be treated as lab rats, and this is an experiment involving Tusk bringing back the rule of law. As I said before, we, our government, was being accused the whole eight year of being undemocratic, of having authoritarian tendencies of destroying the rule of law. We didn’t do anything like that. Less than half year of the new government in power and you can observe a decline of rule of law. This is what the liberal elites want.

You can do anything as long as you’re one of them,

as long you’re part of the Brussels mainstream, a perfect example for that is the frozen EU funds due to Poland. We could see clearly that there was no factual reason to froze those funds for Poland. Because the moment Tusk took over power, they gave him the money. He didn’t adopt any new law. He didn’t change anything in regards to the EU funds. So we could see the only milestone that was actually important for the European Commission was having Tusk in government. They were using European taxpayers’ money to actually put pressure on Poland, to interfere in Polish elections just to make sure that one of them is in power. I think the case of Hungarian funds are very similar.

What can conservative forces do in order to fight back against this progressive oppression?

The thing is that we need to win on a few levels. We need to win in the European Parliament, but we also need to win in the European Council and in the European Commission as well. In the EP, we need conservative MEPs. But we also need conservative governments because just two, three or four countries is not enough. We need a majority out of twenty-seven both in terms of appointing commissioners as well as when it comes to the Council meetings. We need to work together in terms of making sure that the European public sees that this is a general problem that what we are facing right now it’s not only a problem for Italy, for Hungary, for Poland, or for Latvia, that this is a general problem that European Union is facing. The wokeness, the leftist agenda, the policies that will destroy our agriculture, our food security, our industry and so on. We need to have a common voice to prove to the people that these are not some pity, local, political ideas, that this is a bigger issue. On the other hand we need to do our homework. We need to win in each and every country because as conservatives that’s what we believe in, sovereign nation states. So we need to have conservative governments in our countries.

In slightly over a month’s time, European Parliament elections will take place across EU countries. Right-wing political groups are looking forward to the elections with better chances than ever before. What do you think the new EP will look like?

The question about the political groups in European Parliament is always very tricky because it’s a multi-layered, complicated puzzle. I sometimes joke that it’s very easy to be a leftist, to be a socialist in Europe. You just want to destroy everything that has any value, you want to destroy anything that is a cornerstone of the society, you want to destroy anything that has the stamp ‘traditional’ on it. You just want to make some weird experiments that try to build society again from scratch.

When it comes to conservatives, of course we differ. It’s natural. We care about our country, we care about our people and we always put them first. So sometimes we do have different opinions, we do have contradicting goals.

The important thing is to find the common denominator,

to find the issues that unite us, that are a threat to us all and not only us, politicians, conservative forces, but to our societies, to our nations.

I think it’s too early to say whether it would be two blocs or would it be one group. One thing is certain. Both European Conservatives and Reformists and Identity and Democracy are groups that will grow. You cannot say it with certainty about Socialists & Democrats, about the European People Party, about all the others, but we will definitely grow. This is a good thing. Sometimes creating one group is impossible, because there are parties which would lose too much on the national level if they formed an alliance with someone else. What should be done then? We should definitely create coalitions on issues like the Green Deal, on the changes in the European treaties that would lead to the loss of sovereignty. This is our goal for this term.

Where should Fidesz sit in the new EP?

Well, Fidesz has to decide it for itself. I think what the party brings to the table is needed in Europe. Hungary also has a voice in the Council, which in cases when you have to use your veto right, may be crucial.

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‘We need to win in each and every country because as conservatives that’s what we believe in, sovereign nation states,’ PiS MEP Radosław Fogiel nailed down in an interview with Hungarian Conservative.