High engagement of French diplomacy, Czech Presidency as bench mark for Polish Presidency

Poland
Foundation for European Studies - European Institute
 
Assessment of French Presidency
 
As regards to the key priorities for the presidency formulated by France, including the Climate and Energy Package and the finalization of the Lisbon Treaty ratification, the general assessment of the presidency is that “the Presidency was difficult for France and very good for Poland”[1]. What has been stressed is the deep involvement of France in actions taken in the interest of the whole European Union, a reasonable balance between an intergovernmental and a community approach. An important feature of the passed presidency was also the ability to work out compromise between the diversified interests of member states in a way that took into consideration the positions of individual member states.
 

The effects of the financial crisis on Poland

Poland
Foundation for European Studies - European Institute
 
In the beginning of November 2008, some economists and bankers asked the government for the preparation and implementation of the anti-crisis packet. Most banks ceased to give enterprises loans that resulted in hampering further investments. According to Central Statistical Office data, the production value in November 2008 decreased by 13 percent in reference to October 2008 and by 9 percent in reference to the corresponding period of 2007.
 

Joy and optimism in light of a new US President

Poland
Foundation for European Studies - European Institute
 
Radek Sikorski, Poland’s Foreign Minister, hailed Barack Obama’s election victory as “a joyful moment” and “a renewal of faith of Americans in their national mythology.”[1]
 
The Minister went on to predict “great” relations between Poland and the U.S, and described Obama as a “charismatic” and “unbelievably intelligent” man. Sikorski was instrumental in signing the missile defense deal with America earlier this year, a project that Obama also backed, provided that the system was not directed at Russia.
 
Poland’s Foreign Minister has rather intimate relations with the U.S, as his wife, distinguished historian Anne Applebaum, is herself an American citizen.




[1] Source: Cracow Life, 7 November 2008.

Positive attitude remains in Poland despite the Irish ‘No’

Poland
Foundation for European Studies - European Institute
 
At the outset one has to recall the basic facts – The Polish parliament ratified the Lisbon Treaty on 1 April 2008 (396 for and only 56 votes against). In the following week, it was swiftly ratified by the senate. After the Irish ‘No’ the Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, agreed with the official EU line to continue the ratification process. “The result of the Irish referendum does not have to rule out the chances of its implementation. The EU will find the way out of this conundrum”.[1] The President, Lech Kaczyński, as yet, has not signed the treaty. On the eve of the French Presidency, on 1 July 2008, the President, Lech Kaczyński, in an interview for “Dziennik” daily, said that the ratification of the treaty by Poland was, in current circumstances, pointless. After the critique from many European capitals and an internal row with the government, Lech Kaczynski toned down his rhetoric against the Lisbon Treaty. “If the Irish change their mind, not under pressure, but of their own free will […] I will also sign the treaty”.[2]