Issues discussed during the talk included relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom and the current situation related to the coronavirus pandemic. The talk provided an opportunity to present Poland’s point of view on the most important topics which will be discussed during the upcoming summit of the European Council, including matters related to the future EU budget.
Common fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present a challenge for many countries throughout the world. The European Council will be discussing coordination of actions undertaken by Member States of the Community in response to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, including progress towards a vaccine against COVID-19.
Poland actively cooperates with respect to coordination of resources received by the Member States in response to the pandemic. We support further work towards improving the coordination of internal activities in the scope of introduced restrictions. A coordinated EU response should be considered a priority.
On 9 October 2020, the V4 Centre for COVID-19 Information Exchange became operational. This is a new forum for cooperation, coordination and exchange of information at the ministerial expert level of the Visegrád Group countries. Actions undertaken in this respect will supplement those undertaken within the EU, WHO and other international structures.
During the summit, the European Council will sum up the performance of the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU and review the status of negotiations concerning the future partnership between the European Union and the United Kingdom.
The latest – ninth – round of negotiations took place between September and October. President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson agreed to intensify talks in a reduced format to resolve the most important points of contention.
The European Union must be prepared for all scenarios after 1 January 2021, which marks the end of the transitional period and the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Customs Union and the European Single Market.
Polish Government active in the EU
Poland is active in Europe. During the last meeting of the European Council, the Member States of the Community accepted the proposal of the Visegrád Group presented by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki concerning the Economic Plan for Democratic Belarus. This is indicative of our current international position – Poland is not a passive observer, but an important creator of the European policy.
The Plan provides for support for our eastern neighbour in its political and economic transformation. With respect to aiding Belarus, Poland also wishes to involve international institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank, as well as European institutions, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development or the European Investment Bank.
The new EU budget
The EU leaders wish to conclude the budget process and activate the EU funds for 2021-2027, eagerly awaited by many Member States of the European Union, as quickly as possible.
Poland has negotiated over 750 million Polish zlotys from the EU budget and the European Recovery Instrument during the summit of the European Council held in Brussels in July. These funds will make it possible to rebuild and strengthen the Polish economy after the coronavirus pandemic and carry out the EU goals for 2021-2027.
The adopted budget package means a powerful investment injection for the entire Europe, necessary for the economies to recover quickly after the crisis. Poland secured significant resources within, among others, the cohesion policy and the common agricultural policy.