Monday

23rd Jan 2017

Focus

Poland keen on economic post in EU commission

  • Sikorski (l) has been mentioned as a possible successor to Catherine Ashton (r) (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski may be a “natural candidate” for the EU’s head of diplomacy, but Warsaw is especially keen on getting a weighty economic dossier in the next European Commission.

Poland’s press made much of comments by PM Donald Tusk last week that the country has achieved “such significant influence” on European foreign policy that it is considering trying to get Sikorski to be the next EU foreign policy chief.

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.

However, Tusk also indicated that other dossiers are at least as important, particularly energy, a topic on which Warsaw has been a leading voice in recent months.

“We would like to get a post in a place, which is key from Poland’s point of view, but also from a European one. We are also thinking of energy or competition,” said Tusk.

Diplomatic sources say Warsaw values an economic portfolio in the new commission more than the prestigious but less important post of foreign policy chief.

However, the energy portfolio is likely to be out of Poland’s reach as the country’s pro-fracking, pro-coal stance is likely to be hard to swallow for many European capitals.

Some sources say that this portfolio could go to Britain, which would be acceptable for Poland as London is favourable to exploring shale gas.

Competition and internal market are also among the portfolios that Warsaw is eyeing.

Gazeta Wyborcza recently wrote that Warsaw sees itself as one of the main supporters of deepening trade inside the Union and removing bureaucratic barriers, especially in the area of services.

As for the people who should fill the posts, diplomats say: “portfolio first, candidates second”.

Several names are doing the rounds. Sikorski’s name has also been linked to the energy dossier. Other commissioner candidates include Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, a former PM and close adviser to Tusk, and Jacek Rostowski, a former finance minister.

However, the chances that Janusz Lewandowski – currently in charge of the EU’s budget – gets a second term are also growing.

Tusk’s Civic Platform (PO) won the European elections by a slight margin. It got 32 percent of votes, some 24,000 more votes than the right-wing opposition party, PiS.

The result once more prompted speculation Tusk will throw his own hat into the ring for the presidency of the EU commission.

But he has denied being interested in the post and said several times that he will lead the party into the 2015 parliamentary elections instead.

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

MEPs have approved Juncker's new EU commission, with a slightly smaller majority than in 2010, and following a number of concessions on portfolios.

News in Brief

  1. Sweden to host EU social summit
  2. US Congress may Trump-proof Russia sanctions
  3. Fury over UK 'cover up' of failed missile test
  4. Theresa May: I will not be afraid to stand up to Trump
  5. Brexit will destroy NI peace deal, says Gerry Adams
  6. EU housing price increase by 4.3%
  7. EU trade chief says UK deal will take 'couple of years'
  8. German defence spending boost not enough for Nato goal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue PlatformThe Influence of Turkish Politics in Europe After the Coup Attempt
  2. World VisionEU Urged to do Better Ahead of Helsinki Conference on Syria
  3. Caritas EuropaEU States to Join Pope Francis’s Appeal to Care for Migrant Children
  4. UNICEFNumber of Unaccompanied Children Arriving by sea to Italy Doubles in 2016
  5. Nordic Council of Ministers"Nordic Matters" Help Forge Closer Bonds Between the UK and the Nordic Region
  6. Computers, Privacy & Data ProtectionThe age of Intelligent Machines: join the Conference on 25-27 January 2017
  7. Martens CentreNo Better way to Lift Your Monday Blues Than to Gloss Over our Political Cartoons
  8. Dialogue PlatformThe Gulen Movement: An Islamic Response to Terror as a Global Challenge
  9. European Free AllianceMinority Rights and Autonomy are a European Normality
  10. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Create EU Competitiveness Post-Brexit? Seminar on January 24th
  11. European Jewish CongressSchulz to be Awarded the European Medal for Tolerance for his Stand Against Populism
  12. Nordic Council of Ministers"Adventures in Moominland" Kick Off Nordic Matters Festival in London

Latest News

  1. EU says milk protest 'difficult to understand'
  2. Future of euro on EU agenda This WEEK
  3. Pope warns populism could lead to 'saviours' like Hitler
  4. How the EU can protect the world’s forest by tackling corruption
  5. Leftist newcomer takes lead in French Socialist primary
  6. Far-right groups pledge allegiance ahead of elections
  7. Trump pledges US-first foreign policy
  8. GMO opt-out plan remains in waiting room