“Countries of our size, like Poland, Germany and Great Britain, will not be in a position to exert changes on their own without an alliance, which is the EU,” Blair argued.
“We have to remember that, so that Europe remains strong.”
Blair, who led a Labour government from 1997-2007, put forward his points during an address at a conference of the Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL), an organization that represents the business services sector in Poland.
His comments came as the Conservative party's newly re-elected prime minister David Cameron considered dates for a referendum on whether Britain should leave the EU, fulfilling a pledge he had made prior to the 7 May general election.
Meanwhile, Blair said that Poland had made remarkable progress in recent years, particularly since joining the EU in 2004.
“When I come to Poland I see a country that has accomplished a great deal,” he reflected.
“Of course I know that for millions of people here in Poland – the young, the unemployed, life is hard, but I'm on the outside and I can say that you can be proud of what you have achieved.”
Blair noted that Poland, which emerged from communist rule in 1989, can today be an advocate in the EU and NATO for values such as democracy, freedom and an open approach to the world.
“The best alliances are based on values, not interests,” he said.
Of the unprecedented exodus of Poles to the UK since 2004, Blair said that “the majority really do help in the development of the country.
“In today's world, one cannot be closed off to visitors, especially when they work hard and help.” (nh)