Tag Archives: Poland

Polish Tusk endorsed for EPP leadership

The European People’s Party (EPP) Congress has overwhelmingly voted Polish politician Donald Tusk as the EPP President with 491 in favour (93%) and 37 against. His mandate will start on 1 December 2019.

“Dear Joseph, it will be very difficult to replace you, you did an excellent job. You gave us all a feeling of safety and a meaning to our actions. You were a true leader of our community” Tusk said, addressing the incumbent EPP leader French Joseph Daul.

“Let me also thank you for your trust. It was you, who more than a year ago, came to me with the suggestion that I become your successor, and you took such good care of this idea that I am the only candidate. This is another example of your extraordinary effectiveness, Joseph, thank you. And so, here I am, at your disposal” Tusk added.

He succeeds French Joseph Daul after his two mandates as EPP President.

“Under no circumstances can we give away the sphere of security and order to political populists, manipulators and autocrats, who lead people to believe that freedom cannot be reconciled with security. That protecting our borders and territory cannot be reconciled with liberal democracy, and an effective governance with the rule of law” Tusk declared.

https://twitter.com/vonderleyen/status/1197414900244582401?s=21

Biography of Donald Tusk published by EPP:

Donald Tusk was born in 1957 in Gdańsk, Poland. In 1976 he started studying history at the University of Gdańsk, where he got involved in illegal activities against the Communist regime.

In the 1980s he was an activist in the underground Solidarity movement. In 1980 he founded the Independent Students’ Association (NZS), part of Solidarity. In 1983 he launched the Political Review, a monthly that promoted economic liberalism and democracy. An informal think-tank supporting Lech Wałęsa was centred around the periodical.
After the fall of communism the think-tank members known as the Gdańsk Liberals formed a government following the first free presidential elections in Poland. They also founded the Liberal Democratic Congress, with Tusk as its leader.
In the 1990s Tusk served as an MP and deputy Speaker of the Senate. He also published books on the history of Gdańsk.
In 2001 he was one of the initiators of the centrist Civic Platform party, which he led from 2003. Tusk was Prime Minister from 2007-2014, making him the longest-serving premier in democratic Poland, and the first to be reelected.
Donald Tusk was elected President of the European Council in 2014, reelected for a second term

EU diplomacy sidelined Yemen conflict

At present there is a visible diplomatic apathy in the EU, regarding the protracted Yemen conflict, blaming on too many foreign actors, stirring the ongoing feud, which have already degraded into proxy war through involvement of multiple external players, supplying belligerent parties with weapons. However the revenues of arms exporters, namely the Europeans. are not the sole responsible for the warfare, continuously claiming lives of Yemenis, and escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf.

The desire of the European Union to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, keeps out of focus numerous Tehran illicit activities, aggravating various conflicts, including civil war in Yemen, increasingly destabilizing the entire region. The recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities, which damaged half the production, evoked accusations from the West, presuming the rockets were launched from Iran’s territory. Tehran has vehemently denied any involvement in the offensive, claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels fighting a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. However Iran responded reasoning the attack on Aramco oil plans as an act of “legitimate defense” of Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

Since regional tensions escalated following the attacks on Saudi’s oil facilities mid-September, the Yemen conflict was upgraded on diplomatic agenda. Especially in view of the protection of vessels in the Persian Gulf from Iranian attacks, as well as the prevention of the illicit arms trade and the protection of civil aviation.

Nowadays there is growing concern among foreign policy experts, pointing at intensified engagement between the Houthi leadership with Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and Hezbollah chiefs, conspiring operations to strengthening Iran position in the Strait of Hormuz, and weakening Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel.

In the context of the escalations of tensions, on October 21-22 the diplomats have been gathering for a conference in Bahrain (Manama) to discuss the security issue in the Gulf. The even has been co-hosted by the U.S. and Poland, and is regarded as a part of Warsaw Process (Ministerial’s Maritime and Aviation Security Working Group). So far there have been little information about the EU diplomacy participation, and input of the representatives of the European External Actions Service – who claim to be highly sought after “global player”. The conference was attended on a diplomatic level by a delegation representative, the spokesperson confirmed, adding the EEAS position remains unchanged, based on the EU Council conclusions.

The EU continues to reaffirm that only a negotiated and inclusive political solution can end the conflict in Yemen.The EU has contributed with over €560 million in assistance since the beginning of the conflict.

What is defined nowadays by experts as a “proxy war” erupted in in 2014, when Houthi rebels captured the capital, Sanaa. However, in reality it was a new chapter in a long saga of confrontation between the Iran-backed Shia movement and loyalist forces since 2004.

The United Nations Security Council reacted upon belligerent spell of Houthi with resolution 2201 “deploring” their “unilateral actions’ ” and calling for the immediate halt of hostilities. The message of the global community has repeated several times, condemning the violence, including after March 26, 2015, when the Saudi-led coalition that included the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Sudan, and Morocco launched its first military operation.

The Yemeni Civil War is a protracted conflict (since 2015) between two factions: the Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi led Yemeni government and the Houthi armed movement, along with their supporters and allies. Both claim to constitute the official government of Yemen.

According to the UN report due to the protracted conflict, Yemen is the most affected country with in acute need for humanitarian aid for 24.1 million people, including children, who are prime victims of the bloodshed and hunger.

In September 18 drones and seven cruise missiles hit a major oil field and processing facility in Saudi Arabia, which blamed Iran for the attack.

Euorparl: Brexit party doesn’t join ENF

Far-right parties’ intentions to create a powerful Eurosceptic bloc in the European Parliament (pciutred) failed when Poland’s ruling nationalists Law and Justice party – and the UK Brexit Party both announced they would not join such a congregation.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland’s conservative ruling party Law and Justice (PiS), ruled out joining a political group along with Italiy’s Lega Salvini, France’s National Rally, led by Marine Le Pen, and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, which won 29 of Britain’s 72 seats in the European Parliament, also said it would not join Marine Le Pens Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group. Britain is due to quit the EU on October 31 but the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will start their work from  July onward, and stay until Brexit takes place.

 

Oldest Europe’s forest endangered

Polish relevant authorities are planning to cut down 154,000 cubic meters of trees in #Bialowieza forest within the period of three years, Environment Minister Henryk Kowalczyk said this week.

The total number for three years is 154,000 cubic meters. This is 0.6 percent of all threes in the forest,” Kowalczyk said at a press conference.

The minister pointed at the “increasing fire threat” in the forest this year, underlining that 3,000 cases of forest fire had already been registered.

А year ago the European Court of Justice  (ECJ) had ruled Poland violated the EU law by ordering large-scale logging in one of Europe‘s oldest woods, the #Bialowieza forest. The government said it would respect the ruling.

Bialowieza forest has been designated a Unesco World Heritage site and is home to Europe‘s largest herd of nearly extinct bison.

The court’s decision is a defeat for the country’s conservative-led government.

The ECJ said Poland had “failed to fulfill its obligations” in directives covering the habitats of animals and birds.

While the whole of the #Bialowieza forest in Poland is protected under EU directives, only 17% of that area has been designated a national park where no logging takes place.

The court used particularly strong language to criticise Poland’s argument that it was responding to a “constant spread” of infestation of spruce bark beetles. It said the infestation “was not identified in the slightest” as a threat in the government’s 2015 management plan.

The ECJ ruling was hailed by environmental activists. The group ClientEarth said the decision was for now only on paper and called for the government in Warsaw to scrap its original approval of logging.

Poland is the biggest recipient of funds under the current EU budget.

Tusk and Warsaw trading barbs over #Polexit

President of EU Council Donald Tusk’s comments on possible #Polexit were a clear sign of “ill will and false care” towards Poland’s Government. Secretary of State for European Affairs Konrad Szymański, said,  blaming Brussels apparatchik on throwing fuel to the fire.

“This is an absurd thesis. It looks as if he is praying for this to come true, because then it would better for him to perform a political function in this country”, Szymański continued. “If this was said by a politician from the farthest corners of Peru for instance, than I would not be surprised with such an amiss evaluation.” he ironised.

Donald Tusks comments followed months of trading barbs between Warsaw and Brussels over a controversial overhaul of Poland’s judiciary, and refusal to host African and Middle East migrants.

“I have no doubt that for PiS one of the goals is to ‘free’ Polish politics from the burden of the EU” – said the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, the former Prime Minister of Poland, criticising his rival in Law and Justice (PiS) party, chaired by Jarosław Kaczyński.

https://twitter.com/World__Newz/status/951144467121299457

“I can easily imagine a situation when Poland finds itself among the net payers, then the government in Poland would feel it is time to ask Poles if they want Poland to continue being in the EU” – he continued, warning that in absence of financial benefits his countrymen would not enjoy the membership in the bloc.

“For PiS, the benefits of being in the EU relate only to the balance of payments” – Tusk claimed in a bitter attack on his political opponents.

Tusk ended on a pessimistic note, hoping Poland would remain in the EU – but would not take such a conclusion for granted. He added: “In Brussels there is still enormous hope, I won’t say trust because that’s already dead, that Poland will stay in the Union.”

EU sets Poland on pariah track

The EU executive  Commissioner and First vice-president of the European Commission Frans Timmermans  launched an unprecedented process, triggering Article 7 of Lisbon Treaty to suspend Poland’s voting rights in the European Union after two years of dispute over judicial reforms that Brussels claims undermine Polish judiciary independence.

Polish government has three month ahead of them to abolish the judiciary reforms to avoid the so called “nuclear” opinion to lose voting rights within the EU. The visit of the incumbent Prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki to Brussels is forseen in January, however so far Polish government refused to bend to EU demands, insisting on their sovereign right to carve laws.  The move of the executive is largely interpreted as ‘anti-Polish’, and there are fears it will only deepen the growing gap between Brussels and Warsaw.

Many experts interpret the Commission’s selective application of Lisbon Treaty articles to fact of the growing longng of Poland for sovreignty, led by nationalist government of ight-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party.

MEPs: Poland at “clear risk”

MEPs believe that the situation in Poland represents a “clear risk of a serious breach” of the European values, including the rule of law, enshrined in the EU Treaty. Parliament decided by 438 votes to 152 with 71 abstentions to prepare a formal request that the Council  activate the preventive mechanism provided for in  Article 7.1. If the risk persists and the Polish authorities refuse to comply with the EU recommendations, the procedure might lead to the suspension of Poland’s voting rights in the Council.

Parliament voiced specific concerns about the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary and fundamental rights. The resolution calls on the Polish authorities to uphold the common European values listed in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union and in the Polish Constitution.

MEPs urge Poland:  not to proceed the new laws unless they fully guarantee the independence of the judiciary to  implement all EU Commission and Venice Commission recommendations in full; to comply with the EU Court of Justice order to “immediately suspend large-scale logging” in the ancient Białowieża forest; to respect the right of freedom of assembly; to strongly condemn the “xenophobic and fascist march that took place in Warsaw” on Saturday, 11 November 2017; and to take a firm stand on women’s rights, by providing free and accessible contraception without discrimination and making emergency contraception available without medical prescription.

MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski assesses the opinion of the majority of MEPs as “fake” news. HE is convinced Poland is “flourishing”, and current campaign is a result of a European agenda forced upon Eastern Europe.

 

 

« Older Entries