Editorial staff

Polish Briefing: Germany’s president in Poland: Europe needs cooperation. Fines for not accepting immigrants

What goes in Poland on 22nd of May.

Germany’s president in Poland: Europe needs cooperation

“Today Europe needs solidarity and good cooperation to go through the ongoing crises,” said president Andrzej Duda after his Friday conversation with Germany’s president Frank Walter-Steinmeier in Warsaw. Andrzej Duda stressed that he agreed with the German president that “today Europe needs good cooperation.” “We have no doubt that we are able to go through all of these crises. We need solidarity and cooperation. Causing new conflicts is not the way, we should resolve them instead and this is where presidents can play a big role,” explained the Polish President.

He added that the leaders also discussed, among others, European issues, Brexit, the conflict in Ukraine as well as Poland’s 100th independence anniversary and how to accentuate the German-Polish partnership in this context. “I am sure that together with the president, we will initiate some kind of collaboration to celebrate the 100th anniversary, we will also create a field for cooperation, for instance between historians,” announced the Polish president.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s visit started on Friday, early afternoon with an official welcoming ceremony on the Presidential Palace’s courtyard.

Gazprom should be held accountable

PGNiG revealed its position on the settlement proposed by Gazprom, which the company had earlier presented to the EC. Most of all, Poland wants Gazprom to be fined for the malpractice confirmed by the EC’s investigation.

This is mostly about undue impact on infrastructure, e.g. access to the Yamal pipeline, preventing cross border trade and imposing unfair prices that at one point were even twice as high as in Germany.

According to PGNiG, the Russian company should be fined for the malpractice at 10% of its annual revenue because of the loses it had caused.




Fines for not accepting immigrants

The European Commission threatened with opening infringement procedures against states that did not accept people from migration camps in Italy and Greece, i.e. Austria, Poland and Hungary. Only Malta and Finland fulfilled their commitments in this regard. On Thursday, the European Parliament supported this position by adopting a non-binding resolution that called on all member states to speed up the relocation process.

In 2015 leaders of the EU states signed an agreement, which obliged every state to accept asylum seekers to assuage pressure on border states. Italy and Greece were under an especially heavy burden, as they took in tens of thousands of asylum seekers from the Middle East and Northern Africa, including Syrian refugees. The settlement guaranteed the relocation of 100 thousand refugees out of over 2 million that arrived to the European Union. So far only 14 thousand people have been relocated from camps along the Mediterranean coast. Poland did not accept any of the 6200 people that were assigned to it.

Polska Wielki Projekt Congress

The intellectual feast, which takes place every year in this format, shows how important and necessary this initiative is. “I think that the Polska Wielki Projekt Congress is a place where ideas are generated and then we, politicians should implement them in practice,” said Beata Szydło, the Polish Prime Minister during the Congress.

The 7th edition of the Congress was entitled “Liberty – Polish Project for Europe”. The panelists debated on the strategic challenges Poland will need to face in the next decades. The Congress included a number of panels that hosted ministers, representatives of the academia, the cultural and economic world. The event ended on 21 May.