Commentary V4

Von der Leyen holds talks with Morawiecki in Warsaw

PM Mateusz Morawiecki met with upcoming President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in Warsaw. They discussed migration, the ruling party’s ability to close the VAT gap and the Polish candidate for the position of EC commissar.

Morawiecki said that he and von der Leyen had discussed “the most important issues” but did not speak of the rule of law in Poland. He said the meeting was “very promising” when it comes to future relations with the EU and Poland’s role in the union in the future. 

Morawiecki put forward the candidacy of the Presidential Minister Krzysztof Szczerski as one of the commissars in the EC, a decision he had consulted on with President Duda. Morawiecki again stressed Poland's preference for an economy or infrastructure-related Commission portfolio.

The PM explained that the EC president-elect had asked about how Poland was able to close the VAT gap as the European Union does not refer to the issue that much. 

Morawiecki stated that he had encouraged von der Leyen to get ahead of certain issues, such as Brexit, because the EC is busy with limiting certain programs as the budget will be smaller due to the UK leaving.

“Instead, what I proposed today was an attempt to show additional financial sources for member states and the EU,” the PM said and pointed to the digital tax and a tax on financial transactions. 

The politicians also discussed “difficult topics” such as migration, trade policies and protectionism from the side of superpowers such as the US and China. 

“These are our partners, but we should, most of all, take care of our own garden and Polish workplaces,” Morawiecki added and explained that Polish steelworks are at risk of moving to Ukraine if Poland will have to continue to pay a fee on importing steel.

The PM claimed that he was happy with their conversation about small and medium-sized entrepreneurships and the struggle to support them.

 

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