President and EU leaders discuss future of EU in Italy

The Arraiolos group consisting of 14 EU leaders met at the Qui-rinal Palace, in Rome. They focused on the development, shape, position of the European community and its goals. Poland has been an active participant of the group from the very beginning.

The first session of talks was about the post-pandemic world and how the European Union coped during that time. Later on the presidents discussed the challenges and opportunities the European community is facing.

The president said that during the plenary session he had proposed three solutions for the EU "to become an increasingly influential and important global player."

According to him, the European Union should strengthen its own defensive resources and capabilities but this must not come at the expense of transatlantic relations and the North Atlantic Alliance.

"This should be done by creating a synergy effect and, therefore, in close cooperation," he said.

In Mr Duda's view “the European Union needs to conduct an open doors policy and remember about national states.”

"We can't disappoint all those whom we have promised over the years that if they meet the conditions, they will become part of the European Union. These people deeply believe in their EU-future, they strive for it, they make a lot of sacrifices to ensure it and they cannot be failed," he said.

He added that the use of terms such as 'autonomy' or 'strategic sovereignty' in the context of the European Union "must include respect for the nation states."

The Polish presidential couple also visited the St. Peter’s Basilica and laid flowers at the tomb of Pope John Paul II.

Soon after, the President awarded Archbishop Jan Romeo Pawłowski, one of the highest Polish hierarchs in the Vatican, with the Commander's Cross with the Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta.

“Father archbishop never forgot about his homeland and his countrymen. I thank you for that on behalf of the Republic of Poland. I also thank you for being there for Poles, with all my heart. Sometimes, you serve our country very far from its borders. Thank you father for being with us and for us,” President Andrzej Duda said.

In the evening, the presidential couple attended an official dinner with other members of the Arraiolos summit and concluded their two-day visit to Rome.

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