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New Polish president presses on with EU charm offensive

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-09-03

President Bronislaw Komorowski adopted a posture markedly different from that of his eurosceptic predecessor, the late Lech Kaczynski, during his first visit to France as Polish head of state.

In his first official visit to France on Thursday, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski stressed his determination to draw his country closer to its EU partners. “Poland wants to be active in deepening European integration,” Komorowski told FRANCE 24 in an exclusive interview.

Representing the centre-right Civic Platform (PO) party, which has enjoyed a majority in the Polish parliament since 2007, Komorowski has brought a markedly different image of Poland to Europe’s capitals.
 
During a European tour that includes stops in Brussels and Berlin, the new Polish leader is trying to turn the page on the euroscepticism that marked the tenure of his predecessor, the late Lech Kaczynski, who died in a plane crash last April.

Poland 'wants the euro'

"Yes, we want to be part of the eurozone," insisted Komorowski when probed on his conservative rival's efforts to impede the adoption of the EU common currency. Poland joined the EU in 2004, but is yet to adopt the single currency.
 
Komorowski said Poland’s economy would cope with the requirements of the eurozone. “Poland has been among the countries which have maintained a positive growth rate in Europe,” despite the global recession, he said. “I think this brings us closer to the time when we can join the eurozone.”
 
Poland’s new resolve to draw closer to Europe will be greeted with enthusiasm in Brussels, since Poland takes over the EU’s rotating presidency in the second half of 2011.
 
However, Komorowski's plans to promote the expansion of the 27-member block, to include the Ukraine, is likely to become a divisive issue. Asked about his position on the contentious issue of Turkey’s EU bid, Komorowski said his country was "in favour of the eventual opening of the EU to all countries that meet the conditions set by Brussels.”

Since it last expanded to include Romania and Bulgaria, the European Union has shown it is in no hurry to reopen its doors.

 

Date created : 2010-09-03

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