Sunday

30th Apr 2017

Poland keen for EU to spend its way back to growth

  • The four budget musketeers (Photo: European Commission)

Poland has signalled it will push for a "bold" EU budget in the 2014 to 2020 period in order to boost economic growth amid the financial crisis.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Brussels on Tuesday (30 August) said his country is a living example that EU funds "spent wisely" can lead to economic growth.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

With a growth rate of 4.3 percent last quarter, Poland has made the best out of the EU regional and farming aid put at its disposal, proving that "good absorption of EU funds" can fuel economic recovery, he added.

"I want to show off a little bit," he said during a press conference in the EU capital with European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso holding up a map of Poland showing the figure 4.3 percent and a smiley.

The Polish politician seemed undeterred by British and German criticism towards the draft budget proposal tabled before the summer recess.

"We know the debate of the multi-annual financial framework (MFF) is not easy. We don't expect the UK to be enthusiastic, British are always sceptical on EU projects, but we want to focus on a positive outcome," Tusk said.

Tusk and Barroso announced that they will hold a high-level conference on the MFF on 20 and 21 October.

The meeting, to be co-chaired by Tusk and the heads of the EU commission and Parliament is aimed to "deal with the whole philosophy of the EU" and fuel a "serious debate" on how to finance key policies such as regional funding, the Prime Minister explained.

He added that an informal meeting of EU affairs ministers in Sopot in July was "unexpectedly" positive - with a large majority of countries in favour of the commission's generous EU budget draft despite British opposition.

For his part, Barroso said that he was not expecting a "unanimous agreement" at this stage, but was encouraged by the initial response from an "overwhelming majority" of member states and the European Parliament.

"Let's make it a good example of European spirit, to have a focused discussion on the MFF not as a discussion on a budget for Brussels, but a budget for all of Europe," he said.

The main point, amid all the austerity measures in member states, is "how we can help growth in Europe" by means of the EU budget, the Portuguese politician noted.

Under the commission blueprint, EU spending would rise to €971.52 billion over the seven-year period, with €1,025 billion pledged in commitments.

This compares with €925.5 billion and €975.77 billion under the current period (2007-2013), although there is little change in terms of the budget as a ratio of EU countries' gross national income (GNI).

One of the most contentious ideas pinned down in the budget draft is to have a series of EU taxes, including one on financial transactions.

Apart from the UK, which is determined "to play hardball" on the budget increase, Germany in June also rejected the EU financial tax idea. "We don't need this tax, the EU has no financing problem," German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle said at the time.

MEPs warn Barroso against slashing EU farm budget

MEPs have said they do not support a large-scale reduction in funding for rural development schemes, amid reports that the European Commission may aim to make savings in this area in next week's highly-anticipated multi-annual budget proposals.

Brussels seeks financial tax in new EU budget

Future EU spending is set to increase, focusing marginally less on agriculture and more on research, education and transport, according to European Commission proposals for the next seven-year budgetary period (2014-2020). Brussels also wants a financial transaction tax to help fill EU coffers.

EU backs budget support and 2030 target for renewables

The European Commission has said the EU must establish a binding 2030 target for renewable energy, pledging to include stimulus measures for the industry in its multi-annual budget proposals (post 2013) to be published later this month.

Poland tests meaning of EU oath on neutrality

The Polish government has told voters that its man in Brussels, Janusz Lewandowski, will help it get more EU money, testing the meaning of the budget commissioner's oath of neutrality.

Member states continue budget bickering

EU ministers on Monday did not reach an agreement on the Cypriot presidency’s proposal for the bloc's next seven-year, €1 trillion budget.

New anti-trust complaint looms over Microsoft

At least three security software companies “met several times” with the European Commission to complain about Microsoft’s alleged abuse of its market position. A formal case could follow.

Investigation

MEPs oppose EU agency to prevent Dieselgate II

The European Parliament said on Tuesday that there should be more EU oversight on how cars are approved, but stopped short of calling for an independent EU agency.

News in Brief

  1. Vote of no confidence prepared against Spanish PM
  2. Syria to buy Russian anti-missile system
  3. Germany seeks partial burka ban
  4. Libya has no plan to stop migration flows
  5. EU has no evidence of NGO-smuggler collusion in Libya
  6. Poland gets 'final warning' on logging in ancient forest
  7. Commission gives Italy final warning on air pollution
  8. Romania and Slovenia taken to court over environment policies

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCharlotte Hornets' Nicolas Batum Tells Kids to "Eat Well, Drink Well, Move!"
  2. ECR GroupSyed Kamall: We Need a New, More Honest Relationship With Turkey
  3. Counter BalanceParliament Sends Strong Signal to the EIB: Time to Act on Climate Change
  4. ACCARisks and Opportunities of Blockchain and Shared Ledgers Technologies in Financial Services
  5. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  7. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  8. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  9. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  10. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  11. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  12. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process

Latest News

  1. EU boasts unity on Brexit talks
  2. May’s election juggernaut
  3. EPP scolds Orban over university and NGO laws
  4. Oxford-Studie besorgt über 'Schrott' News in Frankreich
  5. Alte Freundschaft zwischen Le Pen und Putin
  6. EP chief faces questions after homophobic 'summit'
  7. EU signals Northern Ireland could join if united with Ireland
  8. One year later: EU right to open internet still virtual