Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Brussels We have had a very successful summit of the Council of Europe

We have discussed many subjects – the interests of Poland have been safeguarded – the Head of the Government summarized the two-day CE summit which was concluded on Friday.

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Photo: W. Kompała / KPRM

On the first day of the CE summit Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki participated in the meeting with the heads of the Baltic States – the Prime Ministers of Latvia and Estonia, and the President of Lithuania, also attended by Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission. We talked about the desynchronisation of the Baltic States electricity systems in relation to Russia and Belorussia, and about its synchronisation with the Polish and EU systems – said the Prime Minister. He added in the wake of Poland’s involvement it was possible to end the 10 years of stalling with this project.

Climate policy

The Prime Minister informed that Poland amended the Summit conclusions in the area of the climate policy to the effect that the proposals must take into account the national climate and energy plans. He said that in this case we are dealing with a situation inherited from the past, where the EU climate policy aiming at the unilateral CO2 level reduction in relation to the other world states, is wrong in our opinion because only a global agreement has a sense in this respect. Mateusz Morawiecki emphasized that Poland wanted to implement the Paris Climate Summit objectives but in full synchronization with the economic objectives of Poland.

USA import duties on steel and aluminium

The Head of the Government said that Poland actively contributed to the discussion on the dispute concerning the import duties on steel and aluminium. As he said – the excess supply of steel which is mainly manufactured in China should be considered in global terms. During the debate Mateusz Morawiecki drew attention of the Heads of EU Member States to the fact that trade imbalance between Poland and China is huge. He added that duties suspension was achieved. At this point of time we enter the phase of negotiations with the United States.

Coordinated response to the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal

The coordinated response to the unacceptable and unprecedented attack by Russia with the use of chemical weapon on the territory of Great Britain is another extremely important subject in respect of which Poland had played a key role – said the Head of the Polish Government.

He reminded that the attack on Sergei Skripal, former officer of the Russian intelligence, and his daughter took place on the territory of the NATO member state and, at he same time, an EU Member State. He emphasized that Poland considered this attack absolutely scandalous and that during the discussion of the day earlier Poland opted for loyal and consistent EU response in this regard. As the Prime Minister said – we believe without any doubt that Russia is responsible for the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal.

We are in touch with over a dozen of governments in the context of seeking a robust and consistent response to this attack. I also informed the Prime Minister of Great Britain about this by telephone a few days ago, and personally yesterday. According to the Prime Minister it is highly probable that on Monday we will strongly respond, jointly with several, or even with a dozen or so EU Member States, to what has happened in Salisbury.

Brexit issues

Today, our discussion was largely focused on Brexit. For the moment the result of Brexit negotiations, i.e on exit of Great Britain from the Union family, is very desired and positive for us – said the Prime Minister.

We would like Great Britain to stay with he Community. Obviously, we respect the right of he GB citizens to decide on the exit from the European Union. We also need to secure the interest of Poland and protect the rights of the Polish citizens living on the Islands, those of the small and medium companies, as well as the bilateral trade which is very advantageous for Poland – said the Head of the Polish Government.

The Prime Minister stressed that he met several times and is continuously in touch with the head of the British negotiations team in order to secure the interest of Poland. He said that it was important for Poland to retain Great Britain close to the EU to not affect the security aspects.

The security is an absolute priority as Great Britain is the key NATO partner. With this in mind our aim is to secure the closest possible proximity of Great Britain to our NATO alliance, and it seems that things are going in the right direction – said the Prime Minister.

Regarding the financial issues the Head of Government reminded that Great Britain was one of the key net contributor to the EU budget. Great Britain contributes about EUR 9–10 billion net to the EU budget. When this money will be missing there will be obviously less money in the budget to distribute, therefore, we are in two parallel negotiations: on the one hand we strive to secure out interest in the negotiations with Great Britain so that it contributes in some manner to the budget – this is possible all the time. On the other hand we negotiate with the net contributor Member States to increase the share of the net contributors, but also to increase the contribution of all Member States in the EU budget – explained the Prime Minister.

Discussion on the rule of law

Mateusz Morawiecki informed that at that stage the actions of Poland brought about a positive effect. We drew up the White Book which was received very well by many Member States – emphasized the Head of the Government. He added that the White Book fulfilled very well its role because many Member States understood what lies behind the need for a radical reform of justice.

The Prime Minister argued that the new rules will strengthen the justice and, as an example, he mentioned the random distribution of cases. Everyone, including President Juncker with whom I talked about it yesterday, admits that the change we have made since the beginning of the year actually improve the independence, and therefore also the objectivity of the judges and judiciary, as well as that of the judgements – said Mateusz Morawiecki.

In the opinion of the Prime Minister diplomatic work over the last months helped maintain the most important elements of the justice reform, on the one hand, and on the other at the same time an opportunity arose to resolve the dispute with the EU.

Summarizing the CE Summit the Prime Minister said that he was very pleased with all the results. He added that he had a number of multilateral meetings, including the meeting with the Prime Minister of Sweden on the implementation of the Baltic Pipe project – a gas pipeline from Norway to Poland. We hope that this project which we are very keen on will be implemented and will actually allow to diversify the access to the natural gas sources and make us less dependent on Russia – said the Prime Minister.

The CE Summit was also an opportunity for the Visegrad countries prime minister to hold the coordination meeting.

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