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EU Mateusz Morawiecki Poland Commentary

The Polish PM’s policy: Putting the common good of EU citizens over interests of transnational companies

The largest social policy changes in the EU were carried out by conservative governments in Poland and Hungary, writes columnist Michał Karnowski

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Michał Karnowski

Poland’s prime minister is pushing policies for the common good of European citizens over transnational companies, and his efforts are starting to be felt at the European level, this time regarding the issue of vaccines.

On Saturday, President of the European Council Charles Michel announced in Porto, Portugal, that the participants of the informal European Union summit managed to work out an agreement on suspending patents for producing Covid-19 vaccines. According to Polish media, this was one of the main issues put forward by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki during the summit in what would be a blow to corporations producing vaccines but what would obviously benefit citizens seeking a vaccine for protection against the illness. 

This policy implemented by Morawiecki and Law and Justice (PiS) government puts Poland in the position of a pro-social, solidarity hawk, and is being carried out in other areas as well.

At every summit and every opportunity, the Polish government has been raising the issue of tax havens, both outside of the EU and those hidden within it. Morawiecki often uses harsh language here, calling it unfair competition and a robbing of citizens.

The same goes for the issue of transnational monopolies, such as big tech — Poland is supporting efforts to efficiently tax them.

Of course, we cannot forget about the fight against VAT mafias and other holes in the tax system, topics where Poland is constantly applying pressure at the EU level while reminding of its own successes in this field.

Poland is a staunch opponent of any protectionist actions, underlining that the EU must build its competitiveness and wealth compared to external rivals and not impede the transfer of goods and services within its own market through tricks. According to the prime minister, many of these attempts have thankfully been blocked.

We should also take another look at Morawiecki’s speech in Porto as a sign of growing respect for the Polish government’s policies, with the prime minister saying that many other leaders asked him about Poland’s methods.

“We present our social programs as a foundation of our social model — a united, just model,” he said and underlined that the source of this model was the securing of public finances. He explained that afterwards Poland moved huge resources to fight poverty and unemployment.

Despite many current trends, Poland also reminded of the role of the family, pointing to it as the most important element of social order and the necessity for the state to support it.

Morawiecki further emphasized that Poland is a supporter of decisive elimination of differences in income between men and women. He added that although Poland has a high position when it comes to this issue, it wants to be among the countries with the best outcome related to this topic.

“Salary should be identical or basically identical when it comes to the same position in the same company or similar companies. It should not be so that women earn less,” he stated.

The cherry on the top of all of this are the social programs introduced after 2015, the swift reaction to COVID-19 in the form of anti-crisis shields and currently the lowest unemployment in the EU.

Of course, this image is not purely positive. Poland must still play catch up and the death rate in the last year has shown where Poland’s main social challenge lies — the health system. It is worth noting, however, that in the area of social issues, the Polish government has been taking a very interesting line; an offensive one, proud of its own achievements and posing a challenge and potential source of information to an EU which likes to patronize Central and Eastern Europe.

During the summit in Porto, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced the creation of “a new social model for Europe” and the head of the European Council Charles Michel expressed hopes that EU leaders will have a will to make the EU stronger in terms of social policy.

Nevertheless, the facts are that the largest changes in these areas in the EU were conducted in Poland and Hungary thanks to the actions of conservative governments, which supposedly do not fit the modern establishment according to the radical left.