Krzysztof Szczerski said that the talks covered the future of the European economy after overcoming the pandemic crisis, including the need for financial and investment cooperation aimed at bringing back production processes to the European Union. He noted that cooperation of Polish and Italian companies has a large role to play here.
The presidents also referred to Duda's April letter to leaders of EU, Eastern Partnership and Balkan countries containing a five-point plan for international cooperation after defeating the coronavirus pandemic.
The heads of state also discussed the situation in Belarus. According to Krzysztof Szczerski, Andrzej Duda and Sergio Mattarella expressed "common concern and lack of acceptance for actions against citizens taken by the Belarusian authorities."
The presidents emphasised that "Belarusians should be given the right to speak out in free elections so that they could define their future," said Szczerski adding that the two presidents had agreed that "nobody is allowed to treat Belarus instrumentally, this also applies to Russia, and that the EU must be active in Belarus and make decisions that would support the right of Belarusians to free elections."
President talks investment, EU climate policy, Belarus with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte
Krzysztof Szczerski told journalists that the two had discussed the future of the European Union particularly in the context of recovering from the social and economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. "We all expect that the issue is not closed, that a second wave is coming," Szczerski said. "In connection with that, its social and economic effects will be with us for longer. That's why it is very important today to work together at the European level."
Krzysztof Szczerski said Andrzej Duda and the Italian PM had talked specifically about investment as a means to come out of the crisis as well as about public and infrastructure investment. "The president stressed heavily that in Europe there are necessary investments too on the North-South axis," Szczerski continued. "We are carrying them out within the framework of the Three Seas Initiative and Italy should also be a part of that great investment plan in Europe."
Krzysztof Szczerski added that among other things, this aim is to be served by new instruments in the coming EU budgetary perspective. He noted that Duda had talked with Italian politicians about the course of negotiations on the EU budget. He said the president had emphasised the need to meet EU climate goals "but only on the principle of just transformation, in other words one that takes into account the economic and social specifics of individual countries and their needs, in order not to bring about new areas of poverty and exclusion."
Preventing food wastefulness a social policy priority - President
Preventing the waste of food as a means of promoting responsible consumption and limiting the impact of consumption on the environment is a priority in Polish social policy, Andrzej Duda said in Rome.
Speaking in the seat of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Andrzej Duda said Poland's rapid growth and the rising living standards of its population "have regretfully made Poland a place where food is often wasted." He added that this should not be the case in a country where "respect for food stems from culture, tradition, as well as religious and national values."
He added that many Poles still remember the food shortages in the World War Two years and during the communist era.
Andrzej Duda said that preventing food waste was a good means of promoting responsible consumption and curbing the adverse effects of consumption on the environment, and stressed that this was a priority in Polish social policy. He also said that Poland and the EU were increasingly involved in the promotion of sustainable production and consumption models.