Poland fully partakes in the grand European freedom project, said Polish President Andrzej Duda during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. The PM then expanded on the matter by speaking of the importance of transatlantic cooperation for maintaining the security of Europe.
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President Duda described the anniversary of Poland’s accession into the EU as a “day of joy, but also of reflection on the future”.
“The generation of Polish youths who were born in 2004, when Poland was entering the European Union in May, is today a generation of people who are already adults,” President Duda pointed out.
Poland had become a member of the European Union on May 1, 2004, after signing an Accession Treaty on April 16 of the previous year in Athens.
“It brings a tear to one’s eye to think it has been such a long time now that we are a part of this grand undertaking that the European Union is and we are indeed fully taking part in this grand European freedom, which we can perfectly well experience, and to which we have in so many cases become accustomed to,” Duda said.
Membership in the EU means more than just Poles being able to enjoy the freedom to travel to other countries of the bloc.
“Poland differs little from the richest countries of the European Union,” said the Polish President. “If we look back, it is the product of our hard work, [and] we are hugely grateful to everyone for that.”
Poland will continue its path of development, but as the President stressed, the country needs “a just, but also a wise energy transformation.”
The importance of cooperation and sovereignty
“By joining the European Union, we have at the same time returned the source of our civilization. In that sense, it can be said, that a certain [historic] justice has been done […] and Poland received what was its due for a long time,” PM Morawiecki said.
“This day is a joyous day on the one hand, and on the other, it is a day to reflect because anyone who will take a look around the surrounding world can see that we are at geopolitical crossroads,” he said.
“We were tasked with governing and carrying out various hard tasks associated with our roles precisely in the time of a deep global political crisis, a geopolitical crisis,” Morawiecki said in reference to cooperation between the cabinet and the head of state.
“It is enough to name Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which hopefully does not become the first domino [to fall], which would develop into progressively worse scenarios for the whole world.”
In order to prevent that from happening “we need first and foremost a strong transatlantic cooperation,” said the PM, adding that without the United States and the transatlantic cooperation, Ukraine remaining independent would not be possible.
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“There would be no Ukraine, Russian troops would be across the border of Podkarpackie and Lubelskie Provinces. That is what the reality would be. That is why all forces in Europe who betray the transatlantic idea, [or] the strengthening of that idea, are not acting in the interest of stability, in the interest of security, and they are not acting in a way appropriate to reestablishing peace,” the Prime Minister assessed.
But European integration and transatlantic cooperation do not mean that nation-states have lost their purpose, on the contrary, the PM said.
He named the challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine as proof that the best answer to such challenges is delivered by nation-states, either individually or freely associating with one another into regional blocs, or continental blocs, like the EU.
“These are the decisions of sovereign nation-states,” Morawiecki said of individual states’ actions taken to prevent the loss of millions of jobs.
He also said that it was thanks to the sovereign decisions of countries such as the U.S., the U.K., and Poland, who took action before the larger organizations such as NATO or the EU, that Ukraine received the help it needed to stand up to the Russian aggression and defend its independence.
“Therefore, the role of nation-states is not to be underestimated,” the PM said.
In this context, Morawiecki stressed the need to strengthen Poland’s security architecture, including the Polish army.