“Poland is safer today”
We stand in solidarity with our partners and therefore we know that they will stand in solidarity with us. But we know that we need to take care of our military security ourselves, too, said PM Ewa Kopacz. She stressed that Poland’s position is determined by its foreign policy which now ensures that the country is credible in Europe and NATO.
Referring to the declarations made in her policy speech, PM Ewa Kopacz listed, among others, boosting military spending to 2% of GDP, approving the Plan for Improving National Security, a bonus for longer service by officers and non-commissioned officers, and the opening of the Veteran Centre in Warsaw.
It is still my priority that the Polish army should have modern equipment made by Polish producers, the head of government noted.
“By investing in the family, we invest in the future”
My government has tried to help those who take on the burden of having and bringing up children. But a wise family policy must be in line with “solidarity”, a notion that is so important for Poles. This also refers to intergenerational solidarity, PM Ewa Kopacz said.
The head of government noted that she kept her word as regards the indexation of old age and disability pensions, establishing day care centres for the elderly, introducing free legal aid and increasing the availability of culture. She also stressed that in line with her promise, the government had increased funds for the construction and maintenance of crèches and introduced the zloty-for-zloty rule. Apart from the activities announced in the policy speech, the government has also implemented the “Apartment for the Young” programme.
The passing by the Sejm of the anti-violence convention on 6 February was particularly important for me. It was a good day for those awaiting this law, and especially for victims of violence – the PM Ewa Kopacz stressed.
The health of Poles is always one of the most important things that the government must take care of, the prime minister noted.
I want patients to be treated more quickly. That is why we have been introducing the waiting list and oncology package since 1 January 2015, she added. PM Kopacz talked about increasing the quota of young resident doctor positions, removing unhealthy food from school shops, creating the National Geriatric Institute, and passing the in vitro and public health bills. The head of government added that the availability of anaesthetics during birth had also been increased. She expressed her satisfaction with the recent arrangements related to wage rises for nurses.
Work for Poland – Work for Poles
The prosperity of Poles will determine Poland’s future. The wealth in which we want to share fairly must first be created. Therefore our government has been very actively promoting Polish entrepreneurship, Polish agriculture, PM Ewa Kopacz said. She noted a number of recent changes and simplifications in how tax administration operates. She also discussed the approval of the initial assumptions to the new taxation law (taking into account the principle of resolving issues to the taxpayer’s benefit), the prolongation of the de minimis programme, increasing entrepreneurship funding and supporting exporters who had been hit by Russia’s embargo on Polish exports. The government has assigned PLN 450 million to a support programme for farmers and agricultural producers who have been affected by the drought, she added.
The prime minister also reminded that the European Union had lifted its excessive deficit procedure from Poland in June.
“Poland is not in ruin, Poland is developing”
We need to create conditions or a springboard for modernisation in order to make Poland successful, to fully use the potential, the huge potential inherent in our nation. This leap into modernity is necessary for Poland. Therefore we have devoted so much time and attention to infrastructure, said PM Ewa Kopacz as she listed a number of investments in road, railway and revitalisation projects. She reminded about the National Road Construction Programme for 2014-2023 passed in September and the National Railway Programme until 2023.
Although I have not declared it in my policy speech, we have also managed to endorse a project which is very important for me and which limits MPs’ immunity for road offences, PM Ewa Kopacz added.
Development of education and science
I have said that my key idea was to catch up with the West. This cannot be done without investing in science and education. I have always believed that our country’s greatest assets are in Poles’ heads, the prime minister argued. She stressed that the next year’s budget envisages a 6% increase in science spending. The prime minister also mentioned the beneficial changes for Polish school and university students, including free access to textbooks and ca. 15,000 internship new vacancies in government administration.
We are also rebuilding vocational education, said PM Ewa Kopacz, stressing that thanks to cooperation between economic zones and vocational schools young people will be better prepared to start a career.
A year of fulfilled promises
It was a year of fulfilled promises, PM Ewa Kopacz summed up. They asked me where I would find the money for that. They said that there were too many of them, that it was not realistic. If you work hard, everything is realistic, she concluded.