President Macron has not threatened anyone, French ambassador assures

Marcin Obara/PAP

French Ambassador to Poland Frederic Billet, referring to the Friday statement by French President Emmanuel Macron, wrote that in his remarks after the European Council meeting the French president explained the importance of the Council's conclusions and did not threaten anyone.

"On December 13, a number of Polish media reported that during a press conference after the European Council, President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron threatened Poland with exclusion from the EU's financial solidarity mechanisms if it did not join the goal of achieving carbon neutrality in 2050. It seems necessary to correct errors and generalizations of these publications to dispel any misunderstandings," the French ambassador wrote in a statement placed on the website of the French Embassy in Warsaw.

The ambassador noted that President Macron "simply explained the meaning of the European Council conclusions and did not threaten anyone."

"During a press conference, the President of the Republic made it clear that all European Council countries support the goal of emission neutrality, but that Poland has requested an exception regarding the implementation of this goal, 'because today it recognizes that it needs more time' and that it has therefore received 'extra time to confirm, by June, that it will pursue this goal at national level'," wrote the ambassador.

The ambassador noted that President Macron "just explained what this meant to the European Council."

"'This exception in no way slows down the implementation of the Green Deal and if Poland finally did not confirm its participation in achieving this goal, it would place itself outside the framework of European mechanisms, including financial solidarity'," the ambassador quoted the president.

Regarding financial solidarity, the ambassador pointed out that "the President of the Republic welcomed European Council's political support for the principle of European solidarity in the field of climate change". "For France, this principle is crucial because transformation has a high price for countries whose energy mix is more based on coal or with fewer resources. In particular, he wanted to tell the Polish PM that France supports the Fair Transformation Fund and financial solidarity for countries whose energy basket causes them to move from more distant positions than those with a more favourable mix," reads the statement.

The ambassador quotes Macron as saying that "there are countries like Poland that are starting from a more distant position. Thus they should be helped in going through this path and assigned greater investments. Such solidarity is justified."

As the ambassador pointed out, the French president's conclusion "was very clear, without solidarity the EU will be slower and will lose time, especially in the field of climate."

The head of the Polish PM's Office Michal Dworczyk referring to the ambassador's statement wrote on Twitter: "Statement by the French ambassador regarding the remarks by the president of France after the European Council. Everything is thoroughly explained."