Polish Briefing 5 June, 2017 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

Polish Briefing: Poland elected to UN Security Council. Old EU’s privileges

What goes in Poland on 5th of June.

Poland elected to UN Security Council

The UN General Assembly chose five new non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for 2018-2019, Poland is one of them. Warsaw represents the region of Eastern Europe.

The new members will start their term on 1 January 2018. “This is a historical success of the Polish diplomacy in the UN Security Council. Poland is becoming a strong, respected and secure country. This is another step in the right direction,” wrote Prime Minister Beata Szydło. Poland put forward its candidacy to the Security Council in 2009 and received 190 votes in favor (2 countries abstained). Since December 2016, when Bulgaria withdrew from the race, Poland has been the only candidate from the region. Poland will replace Ukraine.

The other non-permanent members of the Security Council elected by the UN General Assembly in the Friday secret ballot were: Kuwait, Peru, Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea.

The UN Security Council has 15 members, including 5 permanent, i.e. the United States of America, France, Great Britain, China and Russia. The other states are elected for a 2-year term, five states every year. The non-permanent members are elected in line with the so-called regional key. This means five places are always reserved for states from Africa and Asia, two from Latin America, one from Eastern Europe and two from Western Europe.

Old EU’s privileges

“Companies from countries that joined the EU after 2004 more often use the EU antimonopoly law to stop their competition from abusing its dominant position, than firms from the Old EU. However, their complaints are rejected by the Directorate-General for Competition,” says a report by Polityka Insight, entitled “(Un)fair competition. Does the EU competition law favor certain states?”.

A quantitative and qualitative analysis of decisions made by DG Comp suggests unequal treatment of Old EU states (in the EU before 2004) and new EU countries, and their companies. The differences are about the application of public help regulations and antitrust laws (ban on abusing the dominant position).

“When it comes to the EU public assistance policy, for which the DG COMP is responsible in the European Commission, Old EU states are also favored. The subsidies they award are questioned by the EC a lot less than the ones offered by new Union countries – both when it comes to amounts and the number of decisions (…) Additionally, without any clear reasons, the EC uses an exceptional legal instrument, i.e. the suspension of public assistance, only in case of new Union members,” says the report.

Macierewicz on ProDefence Trade Fair: defense should be taught at schools

“The Polish army and the Polish military industry are changing the way Poland is changing when Poles want to sacrifice their efforts for a secure and strong homeland,” said the Polish Minister of Defence, Antoni Macierewicz during the Pro Defence Fairs.

He stressed that thanks to the Trade Fair Poles could see “how much the army is changing, how much the Polish defense industry is changing, and how much Poland is changing, when Poles want to sacrifice their efforts for a more secure and strong homeland.”

“The youth has to learn about basic defense rules, both when it comes to tactics as well as direct contact. It needs to be trained to know how to act in case of danger, regardless of whom will join the army later on,” explained the minister.

He reiterated that the territorial defense troops are a symbol, which makes it possible to organize defense forces of the Polish society at the local level. “This effort is complementary to other activities we undertook at the international plane,” added the minister.

He also reminded that thanks to the decisions made at the last year’s NATO Summit in Poland, troops from allied countries, including the US, UK and Romania are stationing in Poland. They will soon be joined by forces from Croatia. He also stated that the Polish military will back troops in Latvia and Romania.

European Financial Congress in Sopot

The 7th European Financial Congress (EFC) has been opened. The event’s topics include capital, taxes and international solidarity in the 21st century. The participants are Polish and foreign political, scientific and economic leaders. The Congress will be accompanied by other events: Poland Capital Summit, International Scientific Conference and Sopot Financial Festival.

The event will be devoted to looking for inspiration and exchanging experiences on specific economic issues, as well as the problem of political economy from an international perspective. Thus, panels on, among others, digitalization of insurance, development of fintechs and financial market regulations will be held.