FM satisfied with Poland's engagement in OECD

Tomasz Gzell

Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said on Thursday that he was satisfied with Poland's activity in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and with the OECD's report on Poland published in March.

The Polish official took part in the annual OECD Council Meeting organised at ministerial level in Paris on May 30-31.

"We are pleased with the positive conclusions of this report," he told reporters in Paris.

Emphasising the country's economic successes and Polish technical skills, the minister pointed to Polish solutions regarding access to water in Tanzania and announced similar aid for Senegal as well as "readiness to promote" similar activities in other countries.

Talking to journalists, Czaputowicz stressed that Poland welcomed Lithuania's joining the OECD and was in favour of the organisation's further enlargement to include Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia as well as Argentina, Brazil, China and India.

Referring to the topic of multilateralism, the main theme of the OECD meeting, the Polish official said that this was the "right formula" for international relations, but stressed that "we also see Washington's reasoning, why it wants to change the system," he added. Because of the American opposition, the current OECD forum will not issue a final declaration.

When asked about the reduction of the EU budget, the minister assessed that "the proposal of the (European) Commission does not correspond to the announcements". Warsaw, he said, wants cohesion policy and the common agricultural policy to be maintained. And such matters as security and immigration should be, in his opinion, "financed from an additional budget".

"Structural (EU - PAP) Funds are not a charity, they are the foundation of the European Union. Moving away from this would not be a correction but a complete change in the functioning of the EU," Czaputowicz said, adding that Poland would defend this position, which was also shared by other countries in the region.

Poland's foreign minister pointed to the "paradox" lying in the fact that the same capitals which claimed to want a strong bloc were pushing for the reduction of its budget. The minister also strongly refuted opinions the Polish authorities' alleged "Euroskepticism."

Commenting suggestions that Poland deserved a place in the G20 group, the minister made it clear that he raised the subject during his talks with Argentinian Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie (G20 is currently chaired by Argentina). He stated that "Poland would certainly meet the admission criteria" to the group, which affiliated smaller countries than his own, both in terms of population and GDP.