Beata Szydło: Strong EU guarantees Poland’s security

The future of the European Union after Brexit, security issues, the situation in Ukraine, and the preparations for the EU summit in Bratislava were the main topics of Friday talks of the heads of governments of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. On Friday, their meeting was held in Warsaw, hosted by Prime Minister Beata Szydło.

1 of 14
Photo: P. Tracz / Chancellery of the Prime Minister

V4 and Angela Merkel: Internal and external security of the EU

During a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of governments of Visegrad Group countries, Prime Minister Beata Szydło underlined that the EU was extremely important for Poland. She stated that for Poland a strong EU was a guarantee of safe development and security of its citizens.

The talks in Warsaw focused on, inter alia, the planned reforms in the EU, internal and external security of the Union, effective terrorism prevention, and the migration crisis. The topics of the meeting also included regulations regarding the Posting of Workers Directive and proposals for changes to the asylum system.

Prime Minister Beata Szydło emphasised the need to look for projects that connect rather than divide. All the time we need to draw conclusions and prepare changes that will make the European Union stronger, she said, adding that the most important areas of cooperation were discussed with the heads of governments of the Visegrad Group countries. If we are looking for ways out of the current crisis of the Community, we should focus on initiatives that connect and avoid those that introduce divisions. The latter are, unfortunately, quite numerous, stressed Prime Minister Szydło.

Poland is an advocate for compromise

The head of the government believes that the EU needed a serious discussion on security issues. In her view, the migration crisis should be resolved inter alia by an increase in humanitarian aid. The EU needed a serious discussion on security issues, both in external and internal terms. We will talk on how to effectively respond to the challenges of terrorism and the migration crisis, stressed Prime Minister Szydło.   

In her opinion, increasing funding for the states in the regions where fights take place would allow reaching a compromise on matters related to the immigration crisis. Poland is an advocate for compromise, we want to build this compromise on increased humanitarian aid for the countries and regions which are currently at war. We want to increase this aid in the regions that need support, she added. According to Prime Minister Szydło, it was key to strengthen the protection of EU external borders and maintain the integrity of the Schengen area. 

During the meeting in Warsaw, discussions also concerned intensification of military operations on the part of the Russian Federation in Ukraine. We hear the reports on deterioration of the security situation in Ukraine with increasing concern. This has a direct effect on the security of the entire EU. Growing regional tension inspired by Moscow is not conducive to building confidence and predictability in Europe, added the Prime Minister.  

Future of the EU after Brexit and preparations for the Bratislava summit

The talks also concerned preparations for the informal summit of the heads of EU-27 state governments in Bratislava on 16 September, which will deal with the functioning of the European Union after the British exit.

We need to draw conclusions from the British referendum; introduce the changes the Europeans expect so that there is no temptation in other states to leave our group, said the head of the Polish government. We must look truth in the eye: the EU is changing; after the UK leaves, there will be changes we will have to face. Our goal, our most important task is for the EU to remain a strong entity that guarantees security of its citizens, said Prime Minister Szydło. She added that we needed to consider what reforms of the EU were necessary for it to function better, to develop better, so there was no temptation in other states to leave our group. We need to restore in our citizens a sense that the EU really serves them and that they are its hosts. Such a process of adapting the EU to the new realities will be supported by Poland, she explained.

The meeting of heads of Visegrád Group country governments with German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the second meeting organised in the framework of the Polish presidency.

See also