Jonathan Fryer

Poland’s Priorities for the EU

Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 17th February, 2011

Only a little over two decades after the struggles of Lech Walesa and his Solidarity colleagues led to the downfall of Communism in Poland, the country is making preparations for holding the rotating presidency of the European Union. Although the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty has meant that there is now a ‘permanent’ President of the European Council — currently the former Belgian Prime Minister, Herman van Rompuy — every six months a key role in the organisation of the Union passes to one member state (currently Hungary). Today, at a Kettner’s lunch held at the National Liberal Club, which I chaired, the head of the political section of the Polish Embassy in London, Jacek Gajweski, gave an excellent, succinct presentation about what Warsaw hopes to prioritise during its half-year in the Brussels sun, starting on 1 July. The final programme will not be unveiled until June, but as far as Mr Gayewski can predict, the six main themse are likely to be:

1) strengthening the EU’s internal market

2) improving relations with the Eastern neighbourhood, including Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia etc

3) strengthening the EU’s energy policy

4) consolidation of the common security and defence policy

5) neogotiating the 2014-2020 financial framework

6) full utiliastion of Europe’s intellectual capital

He said that Poland hopes to see progress in EU enlargement moves, relating to Iceland, Croatia, other parts of the Western Balkans and Turkey. And he noted how internally, Poland has been changing since the country joined the EU in 2004. The proportion of the population employed in agriculture has been halved — though those remaining farmers are perhaps the most pro-EU of all Poles — and as far as the role of the Catholic Church is concerned, he quoted a media commentatorwho said a few yers ago, a propos of John Paul II, ‘We heard the Pope, but we did not listen.’

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One Response to “Poland’s Priorities for the EU”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Adam Reichardt, European Almanac. European Almanac said: Poland’s Priorities for the EU http://feedly.com/k/dZCpsP [@JonathanFryer] [...]

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