President Duda on geopolitics for Washington Post
The coronavirus epidemic forces the need to look for new geopolitical strategies and conceptions, President Andrzej Duda said in an opinion piece for Thursday's US Washington Post daily. Duda proposed five pillars on which these strategies should be built.
Referring to the current coronavirus epidemic, Duda said it has shown the need for strong national statehood in protecting life and health. The epidemic has proved the effectiveness of state institutions in this respect, the president added, citing Poland as an example of successful responses to the spreading coronavirus disease.
Duda said that the epidemic situation forced a turn-away from hierarchies based on military and economic power towards geopolitical strategies pursued by individual countries, and suggested five pillars on which such policies should be founded.
The first pillar, Duda said, was "peace through law," with binding laws executed equally towards all, regardless of their economic or military strength. According to Duda this required a move away from global influence zones towards a unity of free countries.
Duda named military potential as the second pillar, and warned against using the coronavirus epidemic as an excuse for defence spending cuts. Duda called this short-sighted, and said Poland designated 2 percent of its GDP to defence and wanted to raise this share in future.
The third pillar, Duda said, was environment protection. In this context he named Poland's environmental undertakings, especially afforestation, smog control and limitations on plastic. With regard to climate policy he stressed that it should be an element of social policy and not a tool for gaining economic superiority. He especially emphasised the importance of restricting the social effects of climate adaptation.
Listing social aid as the fourth pillar, Duda said this called for more above-national cooperation in medical research and disease prevention. He also proposed a pan-European medical security mechanism allowing the efficient production and distribution of life-saving medical equipment throughout the continent.
As the fifth pillar Duda named the restoration of high and sustained economic growth and the just distribution of aid funding for those in need. Here, Duda observed that Poland has managed to maintain high economic growth without sacrificing its major social aid programmes.
According to Duda an international social policy based on these five pillars should be among the themes of a broadscale debate on the most efficient ways to meet social and security needs.