Saturday

1st Oct 2022

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

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.

Time for EU energy union, says Polish PM

The European Union must create an energy union to secure its supply and reduce its dependence on Russian gas, Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said.

Feature

Why northeast Italy traded in League for Brothers of Italy

EUobserver spoke with several business figures and all confirmed they voted for Georgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy because it promised stability, less bureaucracy and tax cuts. Matteo Salvini's anti-EU rhetoric scared them, while they trust Meloni has "more common sense".

Europe's far-right celebrates Meloni victory

In Warsaw and Budapest, the prime ministers were quick to congratulate the new Italian leader, who — they hope — will back them in their battles with the EU over civil rights, rule of law and democratic backsliding.

Podcast

How Europe helped normalise Georgia Meloni

Should Georgia Meloni be considered neofascist? She insists she's a patriotic conservative. And indeed, if she's prime minister, she's expected to respect Italy's democracy — if only to keep money flowing from the EU.

News in Brief

  1. EU ministers adopt measures to tackle soaring energy bills
  2. EU takes Malta to court over golden passports
  3. EU to ban Russian products worth €7bn a year more
  4. Denmark: CIA did not warn of Nord Stream attack
  5. Drone sightings in the North Sea 'occurred over months'
  6. Gazprom threatens to cut gas deliveries to Europe via Ukraine
  7. New compromise over EU energy emergency measures
  8. 15 states push for EU-wide gas price cap

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. The European Association for Storage of EnergyRegister for the Energy Storage Global Conference, held in Brussels on 11-13 Oct.
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  3. European Committee of the RegionsThe 20th edition of EURegionsWeek is ready to take off. Save your spot in Brussels.
  4. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries

Latest News

  1. Editor's weekly digest: A week of leaks
  2. Putin declares holy war on Western 'satanism'
  3. Two elections and 'Macron's club' in focus Next WEEK
  4. EU agrees windfall energy firm tax — but split on gas-price cap
  5. Ukrainian chess prodigy: 'We are not going to resign ... anywhere'
  6. Going Down Under — EU needs to finish trade deal with Australia
  7. MEPs worry Russian disinfo weakens support for Ukraine
  8. Everything you need to know about the EU gas price cap plan

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us