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Poland pushes for place at eurozone negotiations table

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 24.01.2012 12:15
President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy met Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Warsaw on Monday evening as non-eurozone states push to be included on finance crisis negotiations.

Tusk (far left) with Rompuy (far right) in Warsaw: photo - PAP/Radek Pietruszka

The main focus of the meeting was the forthcoming EU Summit in Brussels, which is set to take place on 30 January.

A new pact is set to be signed concerning members of the euro zone, and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk is pushing for stipulations that allow the EU's non-euro zone members to participate in summits of those that have already joined the single currency.

Government spokesman Pawel Gras told the Polish Press Agency yesterday that no breakthrough has been made on the matter as of yet.

“The talks are ongoing, but by all appearances, the final decision will only become apparent during the summit at the end of the month,” he said.

The latest draft of the pact would allow EU members that are not in the euro zone to attend one such meeting per year, on the condition that they sign and ratify agreements made during the meeting.

Van Rompuy also discussed problems related to jobs for Europe's young, a category significantly affected by Europe's current financial crisis.

The goal of a single European patent was raised, an issue now well-advanced having been promoted by Poland during its presidency of the EU council

Following yesterday afternoon's short meeting Van Rompuy travelled on to Berlin, where he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Thumbs down for EU presidency

Meanwhile, most Poles are critical of Poland’s performance during its six-month presidency in the Council of the European Union.

According to a survey by the CBOS Institute, 53 percent of Poles say that Warsaw’s projects and initiatives were not particularly effective.

Twenty six percent of the respondents are of the opposite view.

For 45 percent, Poland was not active enough during its EU presidency.

Poles are almost equally divided in their views on whether the influence which Poland exerted on European Union policies grew during the second half of 2011.

Forty three per cent say ‘yes’ and forty per cent ‘no’.

The survey has shown that Poland’s presidency did not change the general conviction that irrespective of which country is at the helm of the rotating presidency, it is the largest members of the EU that have the most tangible influence on the bloc’s policies.

As many as three in every four Poles holds such an opinion. Interestingly enough, according to 63 percent of Poles think that presidency contributed, to a varying degree, to an improvement of Poland’s image in Europe and the world. (mk/pg/nh)

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