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Poland must limit faith in EU, Polish FM says

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 12.03.2017 11:37
The European Union has shown it has double standards, so Poland must limit its faith in the bloc, Poland's Foreign Minister has told the Super Express daily.
Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski. Photo: Flickr.com/Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych RPForeign Minister Witold Waszczykowski. Photo: Flickr.com/Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych RP

The Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski's comments follow an EU summit in Brussels during which former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk was elected to a second term as the European Commission's president.

Of the EU's 28 countries, only Poland did not vote in favour of Tusk on Thursday.

Poland officially announced it would not back Tusk, less than two weeks ahead of the summit, proposing an alternative candidate just days ahead of the vote.

As well as lobbying for support for the Polish-government candidate, Waszczykowski tried to push back the date of the vote.

Let us emphasize that there was no vote as such, which the media reports,” Waszczykowski told the daily.

When the Tusk issue was raised, the only question asked was 'who is against',” Waszczykowski told Super Express, adding: “Saying the result of the vote is 27:1 is unauthorised, because we do not know which of those 27 countries was for, which was against and which abstained; the question was never asked.”

According to the daily, Waszczykowski said that there were “double standards” in the EU, because allowing Polish-government candidate Jacek Saryusz-Wolski to participate in EU debate required all 28 member states to have a say, while re-electing Tusk did not.

The foreign minister also said that “scandalous behaviour” was also evident during other parts of the summit and not just during the Tusk vote, Super Express reported.

When other matters were discussed, to which the Polish Prime Minister [was opposed], lawyers meeting concurrently made up ad hoc procedures in order to ignore the Polish delegate's voice,” Waszczykowski told Super Express.

It is difficult to play [the game] when the rules cease to oblige and are changed during play,” he added, according to the daily.

The foreign minister told the daily that Poland had “bigger things” to fight for and would not stop engaging in the bloc, but that the country would need to adjust its policies to the EU's double standards.

We definitely have to drastically limit our faith in the EU,” Wasczykowski told Super Express adding that Poland would also have to implement “negative policy”.

He told the paper that this would include blocking EU initiatives in order to “exacerbate the game”.

For years there the public opinion has been that Poland is naïve, that the EU is a club of altruists which cares about the collective result,” Waszczykowski told the paper, adding “... they showed us clearly that it is not so, that one needs to have sharp teeth, and know how to react negatively”. (vb)

Source: PAP

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