Poland for globally strong Europe, PM writes in Die Welt

“We want Europe to be a global player,” wrote the Polish PM in the article made available on Die Welt's website on Monday. Maciej Kulczyński/PAP

Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki in an article for the Tuesday edition of the German daily Die Welt wrote that Poland wants Europe to be a global player.

At the same time the PM appealed for drafting a common budget that will help the EU to become, among others, a world leader in new technologies.

"The European Union has found itself at a turning point in history. Brexit as well as negotiations on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework is an occasion to avoid sliding into the sidelines of history and build a Union which will not only take part in a race for a better and more just future but will also have a chance to win this race. We want Europe to be a global player," wrote the Polish PM in the article made available on Die Welt's website on Monday.

According to the Polish PM, the first step towards achieving this is reaching agreement on an EU budget.

"That is why I would like to say with full conviction that there is nothing that could be a better foundation for a bold European project than a good budget," stressed Morawiecki, noting that budget negotiations have been carried out according to a well-known scenario where "the roles in this scenario were assigned to the fiscally-responsible North, in-need-of-investment East and plunged-into-crisis South." In effect "in such conditions it is easy to reduce the budget to a bag of gifts, to which older members of the European family have pitched in while the gifts are taken by the younger ones. But this is not only a fundamental mistake, but above all a false interpretation," wrote the Polish PM.

Morawiecki recalled that it is the richer countries, mainly older EU members, which benefit most from the single internal market.

"In 2017, Polish economists assessed that 80 percent of the EU's contributions via the Cohesion Policy to the economies of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia (V4) were returned to the Community in 2007-2015. You might think this is an incomprehensible paradox, but that is the logic of European development. The North does not subsidise the East and the South, it makes profits, and to be precise, everyone makes profits," wrote the PM.

Explaining the situation, Morawiecki wrote that "for example Poland is twice as important to Germany in terms of German exports than Russia. Poland and the Czech Republic combined are more important than China. In turn, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary together carry more weight for Germany than the United States."

The PM added that in 2018, Poland's GDP was 71 percent of the EU average. Since 2003 this index has gone up by almost a half. "We owe this primarily to the entrepreneurship of Polish women and men who are able to take advantage of the opportunities created by the common market," wrote the PM.

"We must draft our budget as to build a Union that is a world leader in the field of new technologies and in which four basic freedoms are strengthened, especially the freedom to provide services. We must not argue about transfers or alleged benefits, because, as already mentioned, those who give, also benefit," emphasised the PM.

Mateusz Morawiecki also said that 2020 is a special year for Poland as well as for Europe. "We are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Solidarity movement, which helped defeat communism and united people in Europe regardless of their views. The EU needs a budget in the spirit of Solidarity," concluded the Polish PM.