The latest edition of Pole Position, the programme giving the Polish perspective on the world looked at Poland’s proposals for changes in the EU and how the country is positioning itself in relation to China with guests Aleksandra Rybińska (“Sieci”) and Łukasz Jasina (Polish International Affairs Institute).
See full programme here.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has put forward proposals to take the EU forward at a time of the pandemic and the economic downturn it has caused. He has proposed that the EU should agree an ambitious budget that would use cohesion and agricultural funds to help member states cope with reviving their economies. He has also proposed pan-European taxes to boost the EU’s budget. The taxes being mooted are on digital activity, large corporations and carbon emission imports. Finally, he is arguing for measures to boost manufacturing capacity back to Europe. The EU member states are finding it hard to agree a budget settlement or on the issue of debt mutualisation within the Eurozone.
The COVID-19 pandemic originated in the city of Wuhan. China looks to have gotten on top of the epidemic on its own territory through the introduction of draconian restrictions and surveillance. In a bid to offset criticism for the fact that it originally concealed information about the virus outbreak, China has been keen to respond by offering aid and supplies to countries in Europe and other parts of the world. But the US administration and European countries are highly critical of China’s slowness to share information about the outbreak in the early month of the pandemic. Poland is a recipient of some Chinese assistance and the Polish government has shied away from making critical comments about China’s role while the pandemic is still raging.