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Friday, 15 December 2006

The President of the Republic of Poland attends a European Council summit

On 14 December 2006, the President of the Republic of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, went to Brussels to attend a European Council summit.

On the first day of the visit, the Polish President met with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and participated in a meeting with the President of the European Parliament, Joseph Borrell. He also attended the first working session of the Brussels European Council.

In the evening, the Polish President met with Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, who presented to Poland ‘proposals for a compromise’ over the Polish veto on EU-Russia agreement. ‘Finland made a proposal to Poland for a compromise over the Polish veto on EU-Russia agreement on Thursday’, President Lech Kaczyński announced after the closing of the first day of the Brussels summit. He also said: Poland is inclined to compromise, but any such compromise must safeguard our vital interests’. At the same time, the President announced that he would continue talks on the issue with Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen on Friday. He added that the Finnish proposal contained ‘some elements that were interesting, but also some elements that we could see as insufficiently unequivocal’. President Lech Kaczyński also pointed out that Poland supported the European aspirations of the Balkans and made an appeal not to forget Ukraine and Georgia. ‘I pointed out that, my whole respect and friendship for the Balkan nations notwithstanding, Ukraine is a nation with a population of 47 million, and leaving it outside the EU makes the EU much weaker’, he said.

On 15 December, the Polish President participated in the second working session of the Brussels European Council. At a press conference following the closing of the session the President announced that an agreement to withdraw the Polish veto on EU-Russia talks might be reached within a few days. Lech Kaczyński reiterated that Poland was a determined advocate of EU enlargement.

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