In an interview with Eastern European newspapers, the Brussels boss shutdown the possibility of a ‘Polexit’, which would see Poland following Britain by quitting the bloc. Asked whether a Law and Justice win in November’s parliamentary elections in Poland could trigger another EU departure, Mr Juncker said: “No! “Poland has been through a tragic past. It was Poland, alongside Hungary, that triggered the democratic changes in Central Europe.”
He added: “I have always thought of Poland as setting an example to Central Europe.
“Why am I talking about the past? Because the past is the reason why the Polish nation and ordinary people understand that their natural place is at the heart of Europe!”
Mr Juncker claimed that his presidency of the Commission has made possible that billions of euros of investment into Poland.
“Poles can see how their country is developing and are aware that since 2004 Poland has received structural aid worth €175 billion,” he said.
“Maybe they are not aware – because nobody has told them – that the Juncker plan has made it possible for €18.3 billion to be invested in the development of small businesses.
“Poles do not want to be separated from all these things. But in the West we must not think that Poland is in the EU for the money!
“Poland is with us, because we share common values. Our support is not a gift, but a token of recognition for the scale of the reforms.”
The chief eurocrat also encouraged Poles to scrap their own currency and join the EU’s single currency bloc.
On the Poland adopting the euro, Mr Juncker said: “I am not by any means insisting on Poland joining the euro area tomorrow at 11 o’clock. It has to be your own decision. Of course, if you feel you’re prepared and so are the other euro area members, you can join tomorrow at 11 o’clock. But I am not by any means engaging in any propaganda for the euro.
“I am aware that between 50 and 60 percent of Poles do not want to give up the zloty. Apparently they feel it protects them better than the euro.”
He added that this “notion is misguided.”
“Because to some extent the euro area offers protections to others as well,” he said.
“Since the euro was introduced, we have had far less currency turbulence in Europe than before.
“Imagine just for a second that during the last financial and economic crisis, the euro had not existed. The direction of measures taken by all central banks and all governments would have been completely uncoordinated, like in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This would have resulted in enormous disturbances, not only between the currencies of those countries that belong to the euro area today, but also those which are not members.
“Would this have made the zloty weaker or stronger?”
Mr Juncker’s claims come amid numerous attempts by the ruling Law and Justice to claim they would lead Poland out of the EU.
Law and Justice leaders have repeatedly clashed with the Commission over judicial reforms in Poland, which required about a third of all Supreme Court judges forced to retire early.
On April 3, the Commission launched so-called “infringement proceedings” on Poland “regarding the new disciplinary regime for judges”.
A Commission statement said: “The new disciplinary regime undermines the judicial independence of Polish judges by not offering necessary guarantees to protect them from political control, as required by the Court of Justice of the European Union.”