In a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Tuesday, Mariusz Blaszczak, Poland’s acting defense minister, categorically labeled the concept of a European army as “imaginary.” The discussions, held in the village of Wysoka Glogowska in southeastern Poland, underscored Poland’s commitment to maintaining the primacy of NATO in European defense efforts.
Blaszczak stressed the importance of individual nation states taking responsibility for their defense rather than considering the formation of a hypothetical European army or the delegation of competences to the European level. Following the meeting, he shared, “I have found that any competition between the Alliance and the EU when it comes to security is a very bad thing.”
The acting defense minister reiterated Poland’s viewpoint on prioritizing NATO and expressed concerns about any potential rivalry between NATO and the European Union in matters of security. “Our view is on putting emphasis on NATO,” he asserted.
Highlighting the significance of Polish-American relations, Blaszczak emphasized their crucial role in ensuring the security of Poland and the entire eastern flank of the North Atlantic Alliance. He underscored Poland’s status as the most important ally of the United States on NATO’s eastern flank, citing the presence of approximately 10,000 American soldiers stationed in Poland as evidence.
Blaszczak further credited the strong relations with the United States for the modernization of the Polish Army, citing the deployment of advanced weaponry such as Abrams tanks as a tangible example of the collaboration’s benefits. The meeting concluded with a reaffirmation of the alliance between Poland and the United States, solidifying their joint commitment to regional security within the NATO framework.