President Trump will travel to Warsaw, Poland, next week for one day to meet with a conglomerate of central European and Baltic leaders on the sidelines of the Three Seas Summit. Here’s what you need to know about the president’s second foreign trip.
“European nations are uneasy”
The more left-leaning states in Europe are said to be “uneasy” about the president’s trip. The Three Seas summit will focus on enhancing infrastructure and energy agreements, and some western European diplomats worry it’s an attempt to chip away at the European Union project. One such EU diplomat told Reuters that “one cannot but feel a bit suspicious if it isn’t an attempt to break up European unity.” Although an EU member, Poland remains a fiercely nationalist country and holds values that sometimes clash with the EU’s collectivist project.
Poland doesn’t have a migrant crisis
Poland has calculated that absorbing migrants from the Middle East and North Africa poses far too high a risk to bear. The country continues to face pressure (in the form of sanctions threats) from the EU to take in asylum seekers. However, the population remains fiercely opposed to absorbing Islamic refugees from war-torn countries.
Notably, Warsaw does not have an Islamic terrorism problem, as opposed to its EU allies in Germany, Belgium, France, the UK, and other states that have chosen to absorb untold migrants.
Poland is living up to its NATO commitment
Poland is an important NATO ally that has dedicated significant resources to the alliance. Unlike most of our NATO allies, Poland is one of only five members of the organization (along with the U.S., Greece, UK, and Estonia) that actually meets the two percent defense spending threshold goal that all countries are supposed to abide by.
U.S.-Polish relations go back to the founding
United States-Poland relations were officially established in 1919, but the bonds between the two peoples go back to the founding of the American republic.
Polish engineer and military genius Tadeusz Kosciuszko was seen as a key to the American victory at Saratoga during the Revolutionary War. Kosciuszko also designed the innovative fortifications at West Point. After the war, the Continental Congress recognized his contributions to American independence and promoted Kosciuszko to brigadier general.
The Polish Constitution (the second constitution ever written in the world, following the American Constitution) went into effect in 1791. It was greatly influenced by the American Constitution, which was ratified just a few years earlier.
After his Poland trip, Trump will depart Warsaw for the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, to round out the week. There, European leaders are reportedly set to confront the American president on his recent decision to leave the Paris climate deal. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European heads of state will reportedly discuss the importance of climate change and the need to do more lower global temperatures.