27th Jan 2023

Poland unhappy with EU's new growth plan

  • Mr Tusk is due to debate Europe 2020 with fellow EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday (Photo:

The EU's new 10-year growth strategy risks losing Poland's support, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has told EUobserver on the eve of a summit aiming to discuss the economic plan.

"We have to take care that the strategy does not share the fate of the Lisbon Agenda," Mr Tusk said on Wednesday evening (24 March), referring to the EU's previous plan to become the world's top knowledge-based economy, which fell by the wayside due to lack of member states' support.

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

"Europe needs a strategy with which all countries identify. The best guarantee of member states' engagement is to set objectives which ...take into account their diversity and their different points of departure."

The new plan, entitled Europe 2020 and put forward by the European Commission three weeks ago, calls for all 27 EU states to pursue the same three policies: expanding research and development, teaching new skills to combat unemployment and investment in green technology.

The scheme, to be discussed by EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday, comes ahead of a looming debate on EU budget priorities for the 2014 to 2020 period, with decisions taken on Europe 2020 likely to be reflected in the budget blueprint.

The scenario could see traditional financial instruments, such as the bloc's Cohesion Fund - which has funneled billions of EU aid to Poland to help it catch up with richer economies in western Europe - overhauled to fit in with new green targets, while basic Polish infrastructure, such as roads, cry out for EU cash.

"The strategy should be realised through tried and tested EU instruments. One of these is the cohesion policy, which is not only a well-functioning delivery mechanism but also helps, in an easily verifiable way, to support economic growth and employment," Mr Tusk said.

"One goal which fulfills both criteria [growth and employment] is appropriate regulations and investments in telecommunications, energy and transport infrastructure. A modern infrastructure should form the basis for future development of the single market."

The Polish leader first put forward his ideas to EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy in a letter on 18 March.

"I have read your valuable comments," Mr Van Rompuy wrote back. "I look forward to meeting you at the 25-26 March European Council, where we will certainly address several of the issues raised in your letter," he added, without promising to take Warsaw's ideas on board.

Italian backing

Polish analysts are fretting that Mr Tusk has left it too late to influence the commission proposal.

But a parallel letter to Mr Van Rompuy from Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi on 22 March indicates that Poland has support from outside its usual allies in the former-Communist east.

"It is important for Italy that large-scale European infrastructure projects are launched, not just to increase growth in the medium and long term, but also to give a tangible signal of cohesion and integration in Europe," the Berlusconi letter says.

"The time available [to consider the commission proposal] was very brief," it adds, noting that other factors, such as "political realism," should be examined before crafting any agreement on detailed measures:

"I think it would be more appropriate to define in March the areas for which these factors must be determined, but the precise indicators and target levels should be decided in June."


Why is petrostate UAE going all in on green hydrogen?

The United Arab Emirates announced its ambition to become one of the world's premier trading hubs for green hydrogen. Interesting, to say the least, for a country that relies on the sale of fossil fuels for its prosperity.


Why is petrostate UAE going all in on green hydrogen?

The United Arab Emirates announced its ambition to become one of the world's premier trading hubs for green hydrogen. Interesting, to say the least, for a country that relies on the sale of fossil fuels for its prosperity.

Latest News

  1. Official: EU parliament's weak internal rule-making body leads to 'culture of impunity'
  2. Red tape border logjam for EU's 1.3m 'frontier workers'
  3. Greece's spy scandal must shake us out of complacency
  4. Greek government in no-confidence vote over spying scandal
  5. The legal battle for justice against Kremlin's 'untouchables'
  6. UAE's fossil-fuelled high-tech mirage of a green future
  7. MEP harassment case sheds light on flimsy support for victims
  8. Big Agri's EU lobbying playbook on 'hunger' and a 'refugee crisis'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  2. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains
  3. Forum EuropeConnecting the World from the Skies calls for global cooperation in NTN rollout
  4. EFBWWCouncil issues disappointing position ignoring the threats posed by asbestos
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  2. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  3. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  4. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  5. European Committee of the RegionsRe-Watch EURegions Week 2022
  6. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us