Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki took part in a meeting of the heads of government of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries in Prague on Tuesday ahead of a summit of the Group of Friends of Cohesion.
The Visegrad Group is made up of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
After the meeting of Visegrad PMs, Morawiecki said that while catching up with the west, Poland needed funds for development and that that is what Cohesion Funds are for, adding that the Group of Friends of Cohesion is an effective format for achieving goals within the EU.
He said that all road and rail connections but also energy and climate transformation serve the whole of Europe.
“For us the key is to show a just transformation on the scale of Central Europe, which we’re going through,” Morawiecki said, adding that the countries of Western Europe draw high dividends from the countries of Central Europe. “From Poland, together the total of all dividends, together with interest on capital, from current loans, from deposits, is about PLN 100 billion, or over EUR 20 billion,” he said, arguing that that was a benefit to western countries.
The PM went on to say that while chasing the west economically, Poland, following the collapse of communism must have funds to develop its delayed infrastructure, saying cohesion funds served that purpose.
“We must convince those richest countries, which have had more luck in history – like the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany or France – that that sharing of costs is just,” the PM said, adding that the abolition of rebates was necessary for the cost sharing to be fair. From that category, the EU budget loses around EUR 14-15 billion, Morawiecki pointed out.
Morawiecki continued that cohesion policy and the Common Agricultural Policy (aligning subsidies for farmers) are “one of our basic aims for the coming years, for the whole (financial – PAP) perspective.”
Morawiecki said that during the meeting of V4 PMs, climate issues were also discussed, which will be debated at the December sitting of the EU Council. In this context, he said funds for a just transformation must be much higher than those proposed to date if “we have a serious approach to these huge costs, which the western part of the EU wants to impose on the eastern part of the EU.”