Polish president praises Central Europe's emancipation


Polish President Andrzej Duda has stated that Central Europe has successfully emancipated itself, and that it has ceased to be a peripheral space between the West and East.

"Central Europe has ceased to be a peripheral space between the West and East. It has become a structure, which is conscious of its interests, and which has influence on the course of European affairs," President Duda said in an article published by the weekend edition of the French daily L'Opinion.

The Polish head of state, OECD head Angel Gurria, Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) President Marek Dietl and German economist Timo Baas presented in the daily their opinions regarding Central Europe's political and economic potential.

Referring to the future of Central Europe, the Polish head of state stated that "a decade of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic has just started," but added that "it is also a decade of hope and chances for a civilisational renewal aimed at building a better, more just, and greener world, which will be marked by the principles of sustainable development."

Repeating that Central Europe has ceased to be a peripheral space between the West and East and between the imperial superpowers, President Duda wrote that it had become a subject of political and civilisational processes.

On the subject of cooperation in Central Europe, the Polish head of state named its three key areas, namely, The Visegrad Group comprising Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, the B9 Group affiliating the states of the NATO eastern flank (Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria), and the Three Seas Initiative comprising countries between the Baltic Sea, the Adriatic and the Black Sea.

"The NATO and EU membership of Central European countries is an important and well-established part of the European and Atlantic order," President Duda wrote, adding that the successes achieved by the region could be an inspiration for other countries.

The OECD head praised Poland, stating that it was doing well and limiting its economic losses. According to Gurria, after a 3.5-percent drop in 2020, Poland's GDP will expand by 2.9 percent in 2021, and by 3.8 percent in 2022.

He also pointed out that, before the pandemic, Poland's economic results were outstanding, that living standards in Poland were quickly coming close to the level of the most developed OECD countries, and that both the unemployment and poverty rates were record low, much lower than the OECD average.

The OECD head went on to state that, owing to the budget and monetary support, Poland's economic slowdown was much weaker that in most OECD countries.

Referring to Central Europe's position, Gurria said that it had advanced from a region, which nearly vanished from the conscience of the biggest players of the global political scene, to a group of regions, which were the fastest-developing and aspiring to the role of a civilisational centre.

The WSE president described Central Europe as a region with huge potential of growth, and praised the successful development of Poland's capital market over the last three decades.

Professor Baas expressed the view that, in the current decade, Central European countries will significantly increase their per capita income and that they will catch up with the economies of Southern Europe.

The current project entitled "Telling the World About Poland: The Decade of Central Europe" has been carried out by the Institute of New Media in cooperation with the Warsaw Stock Exchange, the Polish Foreign Ministry and the Polish Press Agency PAP. It is part of a recurring campaign appearing in the world's leading newspapers and weeklies, and on the web.

All materials from the project have been published on the portal www.WszystkoCoNajważniejsze.pl.

Earlier projects from the same series had a huge global range. On the 40th anniversary of the Solidarity trade union, related articles reached over a billion people worldwide.