Beata Szydło: Rome declaration must be approved by all EU Member States

The upcoming summit in Rome and the draft declaration on the future of the European Union were among the topics discussed in Brussels by the leaders of the Member States. Prime Minister Beata Szydło stressed that the document should be preceded by profound reflection on the functioning of the Union and should be agreed on by all Member States.

Photo: P. Tracz/Chancellery of the Prime Minister

Importance of the summit in Rome and the declaration on the future of Europe

Beata Szydło expressed her hope that the upcoming summit of the European Union, which is to honour the Rome Treaties, would also be a celebration of the unity of the EU and would demonstrate that the Community thinks about its future and development. A positive aspect is the fact that the leaders of all countries agreed that the declaration from Rome must be approved by all Member States of the European Union. The text will be further elaborated and it must be approved by all states, declared the Prime Minister. She added that it would not be easy due to different views on the EU, in particular depending on the part of Europe the leaders come from.

The Prime Minister emphasized that the declaration on the future of the European Union would only make sense, if it is not a summary of achievements, but also a presentation of plans for the future which are to protect the EU from subsequent crises. It is needless to say that the EU is in crisis. Brexit is the best proof of that. We have to draw conclusions and not be afraid of making difficult decisions and introducing reforms, she added.

Institutional reform and objection to multi-speed Europe

Beata Szydło emphasized that Poland had several intransgressible limits which would be decisive for its approval of the document. She recalled the recent meeting of the Visegrád Group leaders in Warsaw which ended with the adoption of a joint declaration. The V4 declaration was sent to Brussels and we believe that it may serve as the foundation for the declaration to be adopted in Rome, she added.

The Prime Minister pointed out to Poland’s objection to a multi-speed Europe. In her opinion, such proposals are tantamount to the lack of equal opportunities for individual Member States. Today those who talk about a multi-speed Europe talk about divisions. Each attempt to build elite clubs in the EU will lead to disintegration, and the EU must primarily focus on unity, emphasized the Prime Minister.

Presenting the conditions that in the opinion of Poland should be met, the Prime Minister declared that the EU must be able to implement reforms and to talk also about institutional unity, apart from political unity. She stated that the Polish government would object to any attempt to undermine the integrity of the common market or the Schengen area. The EU reforms should focus primarily on the change of political practice and on strengthening of national and democratic control over the integration process, assed Beata Szydło. In her opinion, the EU institutions need reform, as evidenced by the current summit in Brussels.

Security and the lack of standardisation of social policy

The Prime Minister listed internal and external security as another priority. We want the security of the EU to be based mainly on the implementation of goals combined with commitments within the framework of the NATO. The processes should complement one another. The Polish government is of the opinion that the Community should focus on the single market as the foundation for European economies. We expect that the text of the declaration will define the directions for further development of the internal market, liberalisation of the services sector and adjusting the market to the digital era, stated the Prime Minister.

Summing up the specific issues that Poland considers necessary for the declaration to be adopted, the Prime Minister declared that the balance between the euro area countries and the countries outside the area must be clearly defined. She listed development needs of individual EU Member States and their social policy among examples of sensitive issues that the EU should respect. Such issues as social policy should not be standardized and should be regulated by individual countries and not the EU. The reforms of the Union cannot result in subsequent shocks, summed up the Prime Minister.

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