Polish Briefing 28 June, 2017 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

Polish Briefing: Poland wants a decision on Nord Stream 2. Sweden – a security partner

What goes in Poland on 28th of June.

Poland wants a decision on Nord Stream 2

“Poland wants the decision on the construction of Nord Stream 2, the pipeline from Russia to Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, to be made at the EU summit,” said Michał Kurtyka, Vice-Minister of Energy after a Monday meeting of EU energy ministers in Luxemburg.

The talks in Luxemburg were about, among others, the mandate for the European Commission to negotiate on Nord Stream 2.

Kurtyka said that 13 Member States took part in the discussion and they presented a number of economic, technical and political reservations about the project. “Many states expressed their concerns, among others, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia. Romania presented a strong position and so did Croatia, which declared that discussing such a mandate was against the objectives of the Energy Union,” he said.

One of the countries from outside of the affected region, Portugal pointed to the fact that it was necessary to diversify gas deliveries to the entire EU and assessed that importing too much Russian gas to the EU may hinder the possibilities of diversification from other directions.

Germany did not participate in the discussion. Poland stressed that Nord Stream 2 was against the objectives of the Energy Union.

Mining profit

The Polish mining industry earned PLN 1.2 billion on coal sales in the first four months of the current year.

By the end of April this year, the profits from coal sales were higher by almost one third than at the same time last year. The average coal price increased by over 40%, mostly thanks to the hike in the coking coal price. The sector earned over PLN 1.2 billion.

The current situation in the coal sector was one of the topics on the Monday meeting of the Trilateral Group for Miners’ Social Security, which debated in Katowice under the chairmanship of Grzegorz Tobiszewski, Energy Vice-Minister.

The report on the state of the sector between January and April 2017 was prepared by the Industrial Development Agency’s branch in Katowice, which is monitoring the mining sector.

Less money from EU budget

Poland will receive less funds from the new EU budget after 2020. What funds the country will actually get may depend on the respect for the rule of law. Tomorrow the European Commission will present an initial draft of the next budget perspective, which will be then posted to EU capital cities for consultations. The Polish Radio has unofficially learned about the content of the document and amendments that may still be introduced.

The fact that the next EU budget will have less money, also for Poland, has been known due to Brexit. However, for the first time the EC included in the document new challenges and priorities – migration and defense. These will be paid for at the cost of structural funds from which Poland currently benefits the most.

Additionally, the EC suggested more flexibility in moving the money to different objectives, or taking it away if a given country has problems with spending the awarded funds. Instead of a 7-year budget perspective, the EC proposed a 5-year one. One EU official told the Polish Radio that this will make it harder for countries to use the money up, which will make it easier for the Commission to take it away.

Sweden – a security partner

“Sweden is Poland’s strategic partner and we want our relations to be closer,” said Beata Szydło, Polish Prime Minister after a meeting with her Swedish counterpart Stefan Löfven.

Szydło stressed that the meeting was an opportunity to talk about a number of important issues, which unite both countries. “We discussed our bilateral relations, economic matters and our defense cooperation. We also talked about a topic related to our cooperation within the EU,” she said. She pointed that Sweden was Poland’s strategic partner in the region and the EU.

“Today’s talks confirmed that our proximity is not only about geography, but also about a matching approach to a number of issues, about the likeness of our challenges, community of interests and a similar perception of threats that our region has recently faced,” she said.

The parties also discussed the EU agenda for the upcoming Thursday Summit of the European Council. They concentrated mostly on the immigration crisis and Brexit.