Europe needs solidarity during crisis: Polish PM for ‘FAZ’

The pandemic of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and its economic consequences have an incomparably greater dimension than all crises in the last century therefore Europe needs solidarity and cooperation, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told German daily “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (FAZ).

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“The example best illustrating the scale of the challenge is the unprecedented number of unemployed in the US, reaching 38.6 mln after seven weeks of the pandemic,” Mr Morawiecki said in an interview published in the Tuesday issue of the daily.

As the Polish PM emphasised, the policy of “tightening the belt” did not work during various crises in the years 2007-2013.

“The EU response must be unequivocal and provide our continent with a lever for development,” said the Polish PM referring to the current crisis.

Mr Morawiecki pointed out possible solutions to problems related to the epidemic. “If we are able to adopt the reconstruction programme quickly, the new European Marshall Plan, then we can transform the post-COVID collapse into success and strengthen the EU,” he said.

In his opinion, the united front of the EU Member States is necessary to avoid further economic divisions. “Only by playing as a team will we be able to achieve a good European result,” he said. “The coronavirus pandemic affected all of Europe equally, so the response should also be equitable,” the PM added.

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Mr Morawiecki believes that the countries of the Visegrad Group (V4) – Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia – “may bring more strength and freshness to the European community in this difficult time.”

As regards the concept of EU financing of the fight against the crisis, the Polish PM said that Poland is for implementing the flexibility principle in the bloc through “unity in diversity.”

“It is obvious that countries with a traditionally large role in tourism will need other support tools than countries whose domestic product is generated primarily by the car industry,” he added.

The Polish PM also pointed to the need for Euro-Atlantic cooperation if the values shared by Europe and the US “such as democracy, freedom, human dignity and human rights” are to be preserved and developed.