Prime Minister Beata Szydło: we condemn acts of extremism, but we cannot condone the slandering of Polish citizens

We want to very clearly condemn all acts of extremism, but I will never accept a situation in which the nationals of my country, which suffered under two totalitarian regimes, are slandered and vivified – stated Prime Minister Beata Szydło during the press conference organised after the social summit organised on Friday in Gothenburg.

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Photo: P. Tracz / Chancellery of the Prime Minister

The Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth in Gothenburg gathered the Heads of State or Government of the European Union (EU) Member States, the leaders of EU institutions, as well as social partners and representatives of the civil society.

Call for mutual respect

No one has the right to call 60 thousand people who participated in the red-and-white manifestation in Warsaw fascists. I have called for the other Prime Minister of EU Member States to reflect on this matter – Prime Minister Beata Szydło reacted to the criticism of Poland in relation to the March of Independence. The head of the Polish government decidedly condemned all acts of extremism. Poland does not tolerate any behaviour which exceeds the acceptable norms – she emphasised.

Prime Minister Beata Szydło reminded that Europe grew upon Greek and Roman traditions and that it is founded upon Christian values. During an informal meeting with Union leaders focusing on the future of the social dimension and EU policy in the area of culture and education, the Polish Prime Minister called for mutual respect. We can differ with one another, have contrasting opinions – stated Prime Minister Beata Szydło. If we want the European family to talk with each other and to build its future upon these values, all of us need to show this respect to the other members of this family, of which Poland is also a member – she stated.

She stated that every democratically elected government, including the Polish government, has the right to implement its own policy, carry out its own reforms, and to introduce programmes which it had promised its citizens to introduce. 

European Pillar of Social Right

The head of the Polish government and the other participants of the social summit in Gothenburg debated on how to improve the functioning of labour markets, how to implement efficient and sustainable social security schemes and how to promote social dialogue.

Prime Minister Beata Szydło informed that Poland signed an important document related to the European Pillar of Social Rights. It constitutes a framework which will apply in the context of EU social policy. Thanks to Poland the matters falling under the remit of national states will remain under their control – declared the head of the Polish government.

Poland develops very dynamically and rapidly. Our government implements a very ambitious and ground-breaking social and economic policy – emphasised Prime Minister Beata Szydło. We have combined social programmes with development programmes, thus creating an instrument which fuels the Polish economy and supports families – she claimed.

During the summit in Gothenburg, three parallel sessions were organised. Prime Minister Beata Szydło participated in a panel meeting on access to the labour market. If Europe succumbs to the temptation of protectionism, there will be no economic growth and wise socially-oriented policy – Beata Szydło declared during the debate.

Polish successes

In Gothenburg the head of the Polish government praised the results of the Polish economy and historically low rate of unemployment. Obviously, this situation has a positive impact on the labour market. The Polish economy grows. This is the result of the business plan introduced by my government – she stressed.

Prime Minister Beata Szydło added that our ability to introduce socially-oriented programmes, in particular one family support programme for which we devote more than PLN 20 bln per year, constituted a unique feature of the Responsible Development Plan. These funds also greatly contributed to our economic growth – she indicated. The Prime Minister indicated that initially many people criticised the Family 500+ programme, claiming that it will contribute to the outflow of women from the labour market. With regard to this argument I can only reply that 70% of women in Poland remain in employment – she stated. The Prime Minister added that the pay gap between women and men in Poland is one of the lowest in Europe – we are the third country in the EU with regard to this indicator.

The head of the Polish government also pointed to the situation of young people, who have to be prepared for the challenges awaiting them on the labour market and have to be equipped with appropriate competences. The Polish government introduced changes in the education sector in order to restore trade schools and support professions sought out by the employers, which up to this point in time were in decline.

The Prime Minister also referred to the issue of safeguarding the future of Europeans, so as to ensure that the current forms of employment would not lead to social difficulties in the future and to guarantee the citizens’ pension entitlements. It is a big challenge – she assessed.

Aside from the head of the Polish government, the panel included the President of Romania and Prime Ministers of: Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain, the Netherlands and Malta, as well as the head of the Swedish government Stefan Löfven, acting as the host of the summit.

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