The Polish ACRE member Jaroslaw Kaczynski (PiS) emphasized that the EU has to be reformed. If the EU does not give power back to its nation states, it risks being destroyed by populist parties such as the National Front in France or AfD in Germany, he said.
In an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt, Kaczynski demanded an urgent reform of the EU. He said:
The continent is changing rapidly and I believe not for the better. Everywhere populists are becoming stronger, in Germany the AfD, in France [the National Front party of] Marine Le Pen. I do not think that she will win the election, but she is young and she has time.
Kaczynski said that he does not know how Europe will look like in six years, but anti-European powers could destroy the EU, as it is today. He concluded:
Either we reform the EU or it collapses.
Kaczynski favours a Europe of independent nations, as stated in ACRE's Reykjavik Declaration. Therefore, the necessary EU reform should be a decentralisation of power. He explained this decentralisation as follows:
We must return in Europe to the concept of nation states, because only capable institutions can guaranty democracy, freedom, and also cultural diversity. The cultural unification of Europe would be a dangerous development – it would mean degradation.
Kaczynski served as the Polish Prime Minister from July 2006 to November 2007. He is the chairman of the ACRE member party Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS), which he cofounded in 2001.