Commentary G20

Opinion: Poland should join G20

Poland should be a member of the G20 due to its economic and political potential, but Law and Justice is not doing much in regard to this matter, writes Jerzy Haszczyński.

The leaders of the most important countries in the world were touching on key international issues at the summit in Japan last week – without Poland.

These most important countries (nineteen and the EU is the twentieth) were chosen due to the sizes of their economies. But there is another way of choosing, which is the representation of different regions in the world. Due to this, there are two countries in G20 whose economies are smaller than Poland’s - the Republic of South Africa who represents Africa, and Argentina whose nominal GDP is less than Poland’s.

It’s hard to defend Argentina’s presence with the need to represent regions, as in the case of South America, Brazil is already a part of G20.

There is no representative of the Central-Eastern European region, however, and the natural one would be Poland. Although the majority of countries of the region are EU members, the EU is represented by the leaders of a few states (Germany, France, the UK and as guests, Spain and the Netherlands), as well as union VIPs Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk.

They do not represent our region in at least one important international issue, which is the threat of new Russian imperialism. This threat is rising, as proven by Moscow’s reactions to protests in Georgia and the election of a black-listed MEP as the vice president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

It is hard to expect countries such as France, whose PM officially accepted the head of the Russian government into his family home to represent our region in a summit, in which Vladimir Putin also takes part.

Poland’s presence in G20 would have much larger meaning than a decade ago, when Jarosław Kaczyński had told Donald Tusk that Poland’s absence in the G20 was Tusk’s “personal failure”, despite Poland “simply deserving to be a part of that group.”

Poland isn’t even among the countries whose leaders are invited as guests. Poland and our region deserve to be a part of G20 but no fight for that has ever been seen, and nothing has been said about us trying to seek that membership in the US or in Japan, this year’s host, to whom Poland is an important partner.

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