PM and Pope share common vision of Europe

PAP/Krystian Maj/KPRM

Poland's vision of a united Europe is in line with that of the Pope's, Prime Minister Morawiecki told reporters Monday following his audience with Pope Francis.

The PM stressed that the Pope had confirmed that Poland’s vision of a united Europe - a Europe of homelands – “perfectly fitted his vision”.

He said:  “The great Pole, Pope John Paul II, used to say that Europe needed two lungs. And Pope Francis probably goes further, if I can say so. He wants a united Europe, which is very diversified at the same time. This vision of Europe is very close to the vision of Europe Poland has.”

The PM, who was in the Vatican, added that Poland wanted to build "a Europe of homelands and at the same time maintain and preserve the identity of European states and nations."

"I must say that I was even slightly surprised that Pope Francis so strongly confirmed that our, Polish vision of a united Europe - but a Europe of homelands - perfectly fits his vision of Europe.

"I am very glad that the Pope sees Poland as a pillar of building Europe's values of the 21st century as I also look at Europe as a continent of great hope, but at the same time, a continent which needs some renaissance," he said.

The prime minister added that the audience, which lasted 30 minutes, focused on social issues, as well as the situation in Russia and Ukraine.

Asked whether assistance to migrants and aid offered on site was another subject of the audience, the prime minister said that Pope Francis fully accepted Poland's migration policy.

"(...) I spoke about our contribution to various funds and what we do in order to rebuild hospitals and schools in the Middle East (...) or in North Africa," he explained.

“As the pope displayed much interest in the situation of Ukrainians, I said how many Ukrainian migrants and refugees Poland has accepted,” he said.

The PM also laid flowers at the grave of Saint John Paul II.