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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

President Duda: Being part of EU is a great value for most Polish people

  |   "Well, I will put it this way: in my view, crises are an unavoidable phenomenon", the president said. "Well, I will put it this way: in my view, crises are an unavoidable phenomenon", the president said. "Well, I will put it this way: in my view, crises are an unavoidable phenomenon", the president said. "Well, I will put it this way: in my view, crises are an unavoidable phenomenon", the president said. "Well, I will put it this way: in my view, crises are an unavoidable phenomenon", the president said.

President Andrzej Duda said on Tuesday that membership of the European Union mattered very much to the vast majority of Polish people, and had various benefits.

 

The president was speaking at the opening panel of the 27th Economic Forum in Krynica, southern Poland.

 

"We, the Polish people, are the citizens of a state which worked for years to become a member of the EU. The work and effort we put in were eventually crowned with success", President Andrzej Duda said.

 

"And today, we are a European Union member. And let me emphasise strongly, for us, for a very decisive majority of the Polish people, it is a great value", he added.

 

"I believe we are all seeing the various benefits which come from us being a member of the EU", the president underlined.

 

He conceded the Union was beset with problems.

 

"We have a crisis in the form of Brexit, a crisis in the form of a wave of refugees, we have the financial crisis still reverberating and these are facts which basically no one within the EU is disputing", President Andrzej Duda said.

 

He added that all of this continually begged the question: "How to take such action as to overcome these crises and prevent future ones?".

 

"Well, I will put it this way: in my view, crises are an unavoidable phenomenon", the president said.

 

"For one reason or another, they will always come up and are difficult to predict. They usually appear suddenly, taking us by surprise", the president noted.

 

"We have been and we are a country that supports the European ambitions of states which are not yet members of the EU but are striving to join the bloc in the future", Andrzej Duda added.

 

As he pointed out, "the biggest mistake" would be the closure of the Union. "The European Union must remain open because that determines its attractiveness".

 

He stressed that the decision on endeavouring to join the EU was a decision for each state, its authorities and society. As he added, Poland continues to support the efforts of other states to join the EU.

 

In President Duda's opinion, the aspirations of other countries to access the EU are, in a sense, supportive of the European development mechanism.

 

"I believe that if European countries, whether they are EU members today or not, become increasingly prosperous, more open, people of these countries will have better lives because, for example, of a higher living standard and it will build the general wealth of Europe", President Duda noted.

 

If the EU, "begins formal divisions into a Union of different speeds, i.e. into countries with stronger development opportunities and stronger decision-making capacity, and they will be able to formally determine the fate of others, then the EU will lose its attractiveness", President Duda continued.

 

"Both for those who will find themselves in European Union B or European Union C (...) but as a result it will also lose its attractiveness to those who will find themselves in European Union A", he stressed, adding that the societies of "core" EU countries would also be hit hard, both in political and economic terms.

 

If some countries, having been "thrown out of the decision-making group", find the EU less attractive, it is going to be "the true beginning of its end", Andrzej Duda said, arguing that societies in those countries would feel "rejected" and consequently sentiment for the EU will sour, with subsequent "Brexits" likely to follow.

 

In order to prevent this, the EU will need to revise its internal policies, the president stressed, pointing to the need for less restrictive laws and less bureaucracy.

 

"Polish people are supporters of a European Union of 'open doors'; The EU should be open to new states", President Andrzej Duda added. He emphasised that the new member states would increase the Union's economic potential.

 

"It is worth being part of the European Union, it is worth trying to enter the European Union", the Polish president argued.

 

"Of course it is difficult, of course it is hindered by the development of the political situation and by the crises in the EU. Why? Because the Union's states are less and less willing to accept new members", Andrzej Duda said.

 

The Polish president stressed that the EU should be open to new member states in the future because it would add new cultural values as well as new opportunities for economic development, exports and political cooperation.

 

"Today the European Union has half a billion inhabitants, but if there are more of them, if the European Union's territory expands with new members, the greater will be the bloc's chances to compete with great world economic powers like the United States and China", President Duda went on.

 

"As a result, the new member states, I am convinced, will increase the potential of the European Union", the president underscored. (PAP)

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