Friday

18th Oct 2019

Poland 'satisfied' with UK demands in EU referendum talks

British PM David Cameron, on Friday (5 January), appeared to win Polish approval for his new EU deal in return for extra Nato security.

“We have really achieved a lot. We are satisfied,” Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, said after meeting the British leader.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The visit was Cameron’s second time in Warsaw in a month, as he seeks to renegotiate Britain’s EU membership terms behore holding an In/Out referendum.

Polish workers would be the largest group affected by the UK plan to curb in-work benefits for EU workers for up to four years.

But Kaczynski said he secured “full protection” of social rights for Poles already living in Britain, including most child benefit rights.

The PiS chief is considered to be the real decision-maker in Poland.

Cameron also met his counterpart, Polish PM Beata Szydlo.

He said at their press conference that the UK will help to “secure” Poland via Nato.

“We want to make sure that our two countries’ cooperation is as close as possible. We want to see a full strategic partnership in the EU and in Nato … to secure Nato’s eastern flank,” Cameron said.

Poland is hosting a Nato summit in July and has called for permanent Nato bases on its territory.

Szydlo said it’s important for Poland that Britain stays in the EU.

She said there are still issues “to be ironed out,” on Britain’s “emergency brake” on migrant benefits.

Ironing

That “ironing out” went on in Brussels on Friday, as national negotiators and EU ambassadors discussed proposals, drafted by EU Council president Donald Tusk, on how to accommodate Britain’s demands.

The day-long talks "clarified” technical details and wording, an EU source said.

The source said the meeting was constructive, but no member state is “fully satisfied” and there are “difficult negotiations ahead,” putting in doubt a February agreement.

The negotiators next meeting is on 11 February, but Tusk's team is to stay in contact with all sides.

Cameron later on Friday flew to Copenhagen to meet Danish prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen.

The British PM won the Nordic country’s firm backing for his EU demands, with Rasmussen saying the welfare brake is “understandable and acceptable”.

Cameron hopes to conclude a deal with EU leaders at the summit on 18 and 19 February, with a view to holding the EU referendum in June.

Schulz factor

European Parliament president Martin Schulz, also on Friday, sounded less friendly than Rasmussen, however.

He warned, at an event in London, that MEPs might adopt amendments to the British welfare proposals.

The German centre-left politician also questioned their fairness and said the final deal would be subject to months of debate.

A survey for The Times, a British daily, out on Friday, indicated that Cameron might have more trouble convincing British voters than EU leaders.

The poll said 45 percent of Britons would vote to leave the EU, compared to 36 percent who want to stay.

Cameron-EU deal is 'good enough'

Cameron gets heat at home for allowing his goals to be watered down in the proposals put forward by EU Council chief Tusk, but UK officials argue it is a good basis for a final deal.

EU states tentatively approve draft UK deal

EU capitals are still studying the small print of the Tusk-Cameron deal, but some, including in eastern Europe, gave cautious backing for the pact despite earlier concern on welfare rights of EU workers.

Feature

British EU officials in limbo if UK leaves

Directors likely to get golden handshakes. Managers and MEPs to be lame ducks. Pensions safe. But if UK exit talks turned ugly, British officials could suffer.

Hungary, Poland say 'more talks' needed on UK deal

The Hungarian and Polish prime ministers oppose an EU-wide extension of the proposed benefit ban for EU workers, and pledge to develop a common position next week with other eastern European countries.

Main 'Brexit' issues await EU leaders

While negotiators made "good progress" on the fine print in the UK-EU draft deal, the main issues will have to be decided by the EU leaders next week in Brussels.

Crucial summit: last EU-28 format?

The EU summit will be crucial for the future of the EU, but especially for the UK. The next EU summit will not be the same since the UK's withdrawal will have consequences for the power relations within the council.

News in Brief

  1. Almost 7,500 people forcibly returned to Libya in 2019
  2. Puigdemont released after responding to arrest warrant
  3. Commission: Facebook's Libra needs international approach
  4. Italian PM: denial of accession talks a 'historic mistake'
  5. Catalan president blames clashes on 'infiltrators'
  6. US imposes €6.7bn new tariffs on European products
  7. G7: Libra should not operate until all risks addressed
  8. Kurds agree with US-Turkey ceasefire but not safe-zone

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  2. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  3. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  4. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  6. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  10. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  12. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us