Warsaw, Poland. Issues of who can play “Fuhrer” in Poland have bubbled over as the EU trys to force a square peg into a round hole in this classic battle of east meets west.

The European Union countries urged Poland’s nationalist government on Tuesday to address concerns that it is undermining democratic checks and balances, in a dispute that has highlighted growing tensions between western and eastern European ideology.

It was the first such debate among EU ministers of the 28-nation bloc, Poland accused Brussels of trying to impose its views by “diktat” but only Hungary took Warsaw’s side in a battle over just who will run Poland, Warsaw or Brussels. Hungary itself, has had issues with the EU telling it how to run its affairs too.

The EU’s executive arm, opened a probe in January 2016 into perceived threats to the rule of law in Poland. The EU Commission’s Vice President Frans Timmermans has spent more than a year exchanging letters and issuing recommendations that Warsaw has refused to heed, because Timmerman is in Brussels, trying to play “Fuhrer” in Warsaw.

“There was broad agreement around the table today that rule of law is a common responsibility and we should continue dialogue with Poland,” Timmermans, a Dutchman, told reporters. But it is not like he gets a choice, breaking off dialogue is not a luxry the Hitler wannabe gets in this battle of wills.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymanski says Warsaw shares the EU’s commitment to the rule of law, but that Polish leaders should be able to run their nation as they please, without 2:am phone calls from Brussels.

“The conclusions of the meeting are that the dialogue should continue, which we agree with, and that the EU is a union of values where the rule of law plays an important role. We are in complete agreement with that as well,” Szymanski said.

“But we do not agree with interpretations presented by the European Commission… A one-sided expectation that we will implement recommendations is not dialogue but diktat.” Which is where we came in to this story, proving the more you think progress has changed people, the more you realize it is same as it ever was.

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