Protectionism precludes economic development, Polish PM tells EU summit
PR dla Zagranicy
Economic development and social programmes will suffer if there is a temptation to resort to protectionism in Europe, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło warned at a summit of EU leaders on Friday.
Polish PM Beata Szydło (left) attends the one-day EU Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Friday. Photo: EPA/Szilard Koszticsak
Speaking at an European Union summit in Gothenburg, Sweden, Szydło said that Poland was enjoying its lowest unemployment rate since 1991 and solid economic growth thanks to a mix of policies put in place by her conservative government.
Szydło was on Friday taking part in a session on access to the labour market as EU heads of state and government discussed social policy issues in Gothenburg.
Szydło said policies introduced by her government included a set of unique measures to help society, in particular the Family 500 Plus programme of child benefits.
She also said that her government earmarked more than PLN 20 billion (EUR 4.7 billion, USD 5.6 billion) for these payouts annually.
All these measures have had a positive impact on economic growth in Poland, according to Szydło.
EU leaders gathered at the Gothenburg summit were expected to approve a set of rules on working conditions, social protection and social inclusion collectively known as the "European Pillar of Social Rights.”
Social policy within the EU must be the domain of each individual member state, according to Szydło.
"Of course, we talk about common European solutions, but we still keep and want to keep our national solutions, and social policy must be the responsibility of nation states," she said.
Polish officials have in recent months frequently warned against what they see as rising protectionism in Europe.