High engagement of French diplomacy, Czech Presidency as bench mark for Polish Presidency

Assessment of French Presidency

As regards to the key pri­or­i­ties for the pres­i­den­cy for­mu­lat­ed by France, includ­ing the Cli­mate and Ener­gy Pack­age and the final­iza­tion of the Lis­bon Treaty rat­i­fi­ca­tion, the gen­er­al assess­ment of the pres­i­den­cy is that “the Pres­i­den­cy was dif­fi­cult for France and very good for Poland”[1]. What has been stressed is the deep involve­ment of France in actions tak­en in the inter­est of the whole Euro­pean Union, a rea­son­able bal­ance between an inter­gov­ern­men­tal and a com­mu­ni­ty approach. An impor­tant fea­ture of the passed pres­i­den­cy was also the abil­i­ty to work out com­pro­mise between the diver­si­fied inter­ests of mem­ber states in a way that took into con­sid­er­a­tion the posi­tions of indi­vid­ual mem­ber states.

Even if not all the objec­tives of the pres­i­den­cy were achieved, yet – as stressed by Miko­laj Dowgielewicz, the Sec­re­tary of State at the Office of the Com­mit­tee for Euro­pean Inte­gra­tion (UKIE) – the pres­i­den­cy “has to face two major emer­gen­cies (war in Geor­gia and the eco­nom­ic crisis)”[2], which as if nat­u­ral­ly become two major issues the Union should have react­ed to. Espe­cial­ly with regard to the Geor­gian con­flict – in the opin­ion of Dowgielewicz – “Pres­i­dent Sarkozy has a very dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion and what he did to secure Geor­gian inde­pen­dence on the one hand and to keep the Union speak­ing with one voice on the oth­er hand has to be high­ly appreciated”[3].

Yet an EU expert, Pawel Swiebo­da, not­ed that the role of Sarkozy in the Geor­gian con­flict turned out to be “most ambigu­ous”. “Even if he man­aged to exclude the worst sce­nario, but the con­ces­sions to Rus­sia as regards Georgia’s ter­ri­to­r­i­al integri­ty went too far” [4].

What is being stressed in the assess­ment of the French Pres­i­den­cy is also the role of Pres­i­dent Sarkozy in reach­ing set­tle­ment regard­ing the Cli­mate and Ener­gy Pack­age. The cur­rent issues made the pres­i­den­cy take instant, unplanned actions, yet still, the pres­i­den­cy was able to deal with one of the most impor­tant pri­or­i­ties and reach a com­pro­mise, which should be seen as a real success.[5]

Thus, the gen­er­al assess­ment of the French Pres­i­den­cy in Poland is pos­i­tive; it has been stressed that the suc­cess of the pres­i­den­cy was also dri­ven by pro­fes­sion­al skills and deep involve­ment of the French diplomacy.[6]

Czech Presidency

When the Czech Repub­lic took over the EU-pres­i­den­cy, the Prime Min­is­ter of Poland, Don­ald Tusk, announced that Poland will sup­port the Czech Repub­lic as the first new Cen­tral-Euro­pean mem­ber state to pre­side in the EU. The Prime Min­is­ter declared his con­vic­tion that the Czech Repub­lic will be inde­pen­dent in actu­al man­age­ment of the Pres­i­den­cy. In such areas as lib­er­al­iza­tion, inde­pen­dence of eco­nom­ic enti­ties or decreas­ing bureau­crat­ic reg­u­la­tions, the Czech Pres­i­den­cy can count on the full sup­port of Poland.[7]

Accord­ing to the Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs, Radoslaw Siko­rs­ki, “the states of our region – both on the lev­el of prime min­is­ters and min­is­ters of for­eign affairs – are quite well pre­pared for Czech Presidency”.[8] To this end, meet­ings with­in the Viseg­rad Group were very fruit­ful, espe­cial­ly with regard to the ques­tion of the estab­lish­ment of the East­ern Partnership.

The Head of the Office of the Com­mit­tee for Euro­pean Inte­gra­tion (UKIE), Miko­laj Dowgielewicz, stressed that an impor­tant ques­tion to tack­le by the Czech Pres­i­den­cy will be the diver­si­fi­ca­tion of ener­gy sup­ply and in this respect, Poland has already been coop­er­at­ing close­ly with the presidency.[9]

Anoth­er key inter­est for the pres­i­den­cy – in the opin­ion of the head of UKIE – will be the review of the issues relat­ing to fur­ther­ing lib­er­al­iza­tion of labour markets.[10]

Poland will see to able run­ning the Pres­i­den­cy by the Czechs and will use the expe­ri­ences from the Czech Pres­i­den­cy as use­ful clues for the future Pol­ish Presidency.

 

 

 

[1] M. Dowgielewicz, “Prezy­denc­ja Francji bard­zo dobra dla Pol­s­ki” [French Pres­i­den­cy very good for Poland], Pol­ish Press Agency, 30 Decem­ber 2008, avail­able at: www.pap.com.pl (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] P. Swiebo­da, “Prze­wod­nict­wo Francji w UE adek­watne na trudne cza­sy” [French Pres­i­den­cy “ade­quate for dif­fi­cult times”, Pol­ish Press Agency, 30 Decem­ber 2008, avail­able at: www.pap.com.pl (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[5] R. Trza­skows­ki, “Fran­cu­zom udał się prezy­denc­ja w UE” [The French suc­cess­ful in EU Pres­i­den­cy], Pol­ish Press Agency, 30 Decem­ber 2008, avail­able at: www.pap.com.pl (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[6] M. Dowgielewicz, op. cit.
[7] Pre­mier: “Będziemy wspier­ać Czechy w ich prezy­dencji”, [Prime Min­is­ter, “We will sup­port the Czechs in their Pres­i­den­cy”], Pol­ish Press Agency, 23 Decem­ber 2008, avail­able at: www.pap.com.pl (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid.
[10] M. Dowigielewicz quot­ed by Pol­ish Press Agency, 23 Decem­ber 2008, avail­able at: www.pap.com.pl (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).