"Poland needs euro to play bigger EU role"
Poland ambitions to play a strong role in the EU will be difficult or perhaps even impossible to fulfil without joining the eurozone, President Bronislaw Komorowski said on Tuesday at an annual meeting with foreign ambassadors.
In his address Komorowski, his final weeks in office after losing the presidency to right-winger Andrzej Duda in a May election, reminded that in the past five years Poland evolved into one of the key EU members and showed that it knew how to benefit from European integration.
"The past five years showed that Poland is among the EU's key members, that we know how to use integration and achieve solutions which satisfy us, as in the case of the talks around the EU budget, that we know how to make use of the civilisational leap which has become our share, and whose source doubtless also lies in EU funding", Komorowski said.
He added that through the Eastern Partnership project Poland also showed that it was able to influence EU foreign policy.
Referring to Poland's prospective membership in the eurozone, Komorowski called it "a still open issue" and said Poland had little chance to play a bigger role in the EU without the European currency.
"A still open issue is our membership in the eurozone. It is hard to imagine Poland achieving a meaningful position in the Western world without membership in the eurozone", Komorowski said, adding that "if anyone knew a better solution, they should come out with it"
Reminding that Poland's accession to the eurozone was anchored in its EU accession treaty, Komorowski warned that Poland's dreams about a stronger EU role could be "difficult or perhaps even impossible to fulfil without steps to bring us closer to membership in the currency union".
Komorowski also spoke out for "an EU with Greece and Britain", further enlargement to the east and south, and solidarity with migrants from conflict-torn regions outside Europe.
"We need an EU with Greece and Britain, an EU with the courage to extend further to the east and south, to the Balkans. Also necessary is European solidarity with migrants, who have been especially affected by the chaos in Europe's neighbourhood", the president said.
Komorowski also underscored the role of Europe's transatlantic ties and stressed the importance of "strategically reviving" NATO and strengthening its eastern flank. In this context he opined that the 2016 NATO summit in Warsaw will be "a huge opportunity to restore the Alliance to its essence in a novel way".