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FM defends Prime Minister over controversial statements about EU membership

The Minister of foreign Affairs of Poland Jacek Czaputowicz said Wednesday dad, what the Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki “knows perfectly well that negotiations on the EU-associated” and that he would like to Express in Sandomierz on Sunday.

The foreign minister continued that it is “absurd” to accuse Morawiecki of trying to give himself undue credit for Poland’s EU accession process.

“I myself negotiated Poland’s accession to the EU 20 years ago and I know perfectly well how to negotiate the best transactions in the EU,” Mateusz Morawiecki said on Sunday during a Law and Justice election rally in Sandomierz (eastern Poland). His words provoked criticism from opposition groups and other commentators.

In the view of Minister Czaputowicz, who worked with Morawiecki in the Office of the European Integration Committee (UKIE) in the late 90s, the critical voices aimed at the prime minister are “a classic (example of – PAP) taking words out of context and imbuing them with meaning, which were not the intentions of the statement.”

“All with one aim,” he continued, “to attack Mateusz Morawiecki as a person, because the rally in Sandomierz was a huge success, which once again shocked the opposition.”

The PM’s real intention, according to Czaputowicz, was to show that “the opposition does not have a monopoly of knowledge of the EU and on negotiations with the European Union.” “And contrary to the opponents, I also know that Mateusz Morawiecki was one of the most active people preparing the negotiating positions for talks with Brussels,” Czaputowicz underscored.

“Our aim is to carry out Polish interests in the EU. And we will continue to negotiate within the EU framework – for as long as necessary,” the foreign minister asserted. “The prime minister knows perfectly well what EU negotiations involve and with his statement he wished to express just that. But accusing him of supposedly accrediting himself with undue merit for Poland’s EU accession process is absurd and only shows bad will on the part of people formulating such allegations,” Jacek Czaputowicz stated.

Poland’s head of diplomacy highlighted that in the UKIE Morawiecki fulfilled the function of deputy director of the department for accession negotiations from February to November 1998 and took the position “as a result of his education and subject knowledge.”

“He took a management position at the age of 30 because he was recognised as one of the most capable specialists in European integration, which results from his broad education acquired during his studies in Germany and Switzerland,” Czaputowicz stressed.

The foreign minister noted that the UKIE department for accession negotiations “undertook, among others, coordinating activities with the aim of creating common positions and the premises for the negotiating positions of sub-groups tasked with specific thematic areas.”

“Our task was to support the negotiating team, headed by Jan Kułakowski, who lead the team’s formal negotiations. (…) The accession negotiations started on March 31, 1998. In June 1988, when we were working together with Mateusz Morawiecki, the Council of Ministers adopted the National Programme for Poland’s Preparations for EU Membership, which indicated the directions of adjustment activities,” Czaputowicz explained. “Today I can say that in that early stage of accession, many Polish positions, arguments and documents were authored or co-authored by Mateusz Morawiecki. Together we also prepared important substantive materials at the time between the UKIE and the Polish parliament.”

He went on to state that Morawiecki had “accompanied Jan Kułakowski on trips to Brussels, during which fundamental principles for that stage, and conditions for Poland’s accession to the EU, were discussed.”

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