By Jacob L. Shapiro
What a difference an election can make. A few weeks before German federal elections last September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel threw down the gauntlet and accused the Polish government of undermining the foundations of the European Union with its controversial constitutional reforms. On March 19, a much weakened and far friendlier Merkel traveled to Warsaw to meet with the Polish prime minister and president in an attempt to woo Poland’s support for Franco-German efforts to reform that very same European Union. The foundations of the EU are still the topic of conversation, but the particulars are not about what Poland is doing to undermine them but about how crucial Poland is to their defense.
A Different Tone
Merkel’s trip to Poland – her first foreign trip since being confirmed as chancellor for a fourth consecutive term on March 14 – was not done without careful planning. Merkel was preceded by her new foreign minister, Heiko Maas, who