Polish-German co-operation necessary for Europe - Polish Prime Minister

Co-operation between Poland and Germany is necessary to ensure very good co-operation in Europe in the context of the new EU agenda, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki told a joint press conference with the German chancellor in Warsaw.

The PM said he congratulated Ms Merkel on her re-election.

"I am very happy that once again Poland has a partner and a friend in the head of the German government, and that we will be able to jointly continue co-operation while solving European, bilateral and broader problems," Morawiecki said, stressing that he was also very glad that "there is the will to deepen the Polish-German partnership, and that it has been mentioned in the coalition agreement."

"Warsaw is ready to give substance to the Polish-German partnership in the bilateral, European and global dimension," the Polish prime minister declared.

"We believe that close co-operation between Poland and Germany is necessary to ensure very good co-operation in Europe, both in the context of the new EU agenda following Brexit after March 2019, and of a new financial framework as well as common digital, security and industrial policy," he told reporters.

Referring to the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal, PM Morawiecki said: "we have agreed with Chancellor Merkel that the EU's response regarding the Skripal affair  should be firm, and not a symbolic one,".

"We expect the EU to include the subject of the Russian attack in the conclusions of the European Council meeting," he added, emphasising that "what is necessary is the firm answer of the entire EU so that the Russian aggressor understands that it cannot attack a NATO country."

"The attack took place on the territory of an EU country and a NATO member. We believe that a harmonised response marked by solidarity is necessary to make the Russian aggressor understand that it can attack neither a NATO country nor an EU state."

"I was satisfied to learn that the German coalition agreement speaks about plans to intensify co-operation within the Weimar Triangle," PM Morawiecki told reporters, adding that "Poland is an ardent supporter of using this formula as a platform of real consultations."

The Weimar Triangle comprises Poland, Germany and France.

PM Morawiecki also said that he and Ms Merkel highly evaluated bilateral economic co-operation and trade. "It's nearly a model one, one could say, that it is very close," Morawiecki added.

"Bilateral trade exceeded EUR 100 billion and has been on the rise," he stressed.

"We agreed with Chancellor Merkel that it is of key importance for the EU's future to ensure its unity by focusing on the expectations of its citizens and the practical side of its functioning," he said, adding that EU citizens must be given stability and security.

The Polish prime minister told reporters that he had presented the assumptions of the economic policy of his government to Chancellor Merkel, and that their meeting focused also on posted workers and planned changes in the EU budget.

"I stressed (...) the significance of European solidarity, among other things, in the context of the next EU budget, Morawiecki said, adding that "Poland is for increasing contributions made by EU member countries to the EU budget." He also expressed an opinion that Great Britain should partially participate "in some form" in the EU budget.

Referring to Poland's relations with EU institutions, I assured the chancellor of "Poland's openness to dialogue with the EC and other EU bodies."

We are convinced that changes to the Polish judicial system are necessary, PM Morawiecki said, stressing that the reform "will raise the judicial system's independence, objectivity and quality."

Referring to the asylum and migration system, the Polish prime minister said it required review and repair, and declared Poland wanted to co-author a new system.

"We want to have a common European system and mechanism which will be acceptable and marked by solidarity," he went on to say and admitted that such a programme could be costly and require joint financial effort.

"But we also want to ask our partners to respect some sensitivity connected with elements of internal sovereignty, namely, who wants to admit whom, and by what rules," he declared, stressing that the Frontex agency should aim at strengthening the EU's external borders.