Barroso urges Poland to ‘solve EU’s problems’

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On a visit to Warsaw, Commission President José Manuel Barroso called on Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski to ‘find technical solutions’ to the EU’s draft Reform Treaty, as Poland is again making Council voting rights a stumbling block in the negotiations, due to be finalised in October.

Following a meeting in Warsaw on 20 September, Barroso urged the Polish leader to find practical solutions to the ongoing negotiations in the IGC.

“I really believe it is in the long-term interest of Poland to solve all the institutional problems of the EU,” he said. Barroso added: “I think it is possible to find technical solutions that will respond to the concerns of all member states.”

The Polish request to insert the so-called Ioannina compromise, allowing member states to delay decisions, is currently a major challenge to the work of legal experts finalising the text of the new Treaty. The EU seeks to find a compromise, which would allow EU leaders to seal negotiations on the Reform Treaty at the informal summit on 18-19 October.

However, Poland is not expected to back down easily, as it is facing early elections on 21 October, just days after the summit. Poland’s hard line taken at the Treaty negotiations at the June summit was broadly supported by the public, according to press reports.

The meeting comes at a time when Warsaw and Brussels are adopting different views on several issues. The EU has criticised Poland’s blocking of an anti-death penalty day. Meanwhile, the Poles criticised a recently-imposed European ban on cod fishing. 

Other open issues remaining on the table are the planned Rospuda Valley highway project, which clashes with EU environmental rules, Polish state aid to the Gdansk shipyards currently under EU scrutiny and the Polish blocking of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Russia due to its ban on Polish meat.

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