Discussion Group on Poland

Examining Polish EU Policy in Times of Readjustment

05/04/2017 | 13:00 - 15:00 | DGAP Berlin | Invitation only

Permanent Discussion Group

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The DGAP’s Discussion Group on Poland convened on April 5, 2017 to examine the pressing topics of Poland’s policy toward the EU, various views on “multi-speed Europe,” and Poland’s bilateral relations with Germany. The meeting took place under the Chatham House Rule.

Pawel Kowal, researcher at the Polish Academy of Sciences and former Deputy Foreign Minister of Poland (2006–07), delivered introductory remarks alongside Jana Puglierin, head of DGAP’s Alfred Oppenheim Center for European Studies. Attended by more than sixty people, the event was part of a joint project organized by the DGAP’s Robert Bosch Center and the Foundation for German-Polish Cooperation. Markus Meckel, former long-term member of the German Bundestag and Chairman of the German-Polish Parliamentary Group, served as chair.

It was noted during the discussion that Polish society strongly favors the European Union. This acts as a buffer against the current government's tensions with EU institutions. A certain “readjustment” on the part of the current administration could be observed after the recent clash over Donald Tusk’s reappointment as President of the European Council. When opinion polls showed a significant drop in support for the ruling party, the government of Beata Szydlo reacted immediately by moderating its behavior. This suggests that its European policy is still somewhat unsettled. It is in Germany’s strategic interest not to have Poland isolated within the EU. Bilateral dialogue between Berlin and Warsaw should intensify and focus on non-controversial sectorial issues where Poland can be engaged to shape common solutions on the EU level.

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