New Pact for Europe

New Pact for Europe - National Report - POLAND

13 November 2017


This is the eighth in a series of National Reports to be published as part of the new phase of the New Pact for Europe project.* According to the  Polish NPE Reflection Group, the EU should be more engaged in crucial policy areas, such as economic governance, migration and security. Reforms should primarily aim at improving the EU’s ‘performance legitimacy’ rather than focus on the perceived ‘democratic deficit’. This also includes developing impactful communication policies at the European, national and regional levels to address the double challenge of populism and Euroscepticism.

Drawing on the discussions held amongst the members of the group, the report presents a set of conclusions on how to address the key challenges the Union and its member states are facing at the moment, and calls on them to take action to boost the legitimacy of the European integration project: 

  • In the areas of institutional reform and economic governance, the report advocates reforms based on enhanced cooperation. While a ‘multi-speed Europe’ seems unavoidable at this stage, such an initiative must not lead to a de facto splitting of the EU into a semi-permanent ‘core’ and a ‘periphery’. Eurozone reforms are a subject of particular concern in Poland. The report calls for these reforms to be implemented within the framework of the existing EU institutions and remain open to latecomers, such as Poland.
  • In the area of migration policy, the report concludes that the quota-based system of relocation and resettlement has led to many negative consequences in a number of member countries, including Poland. The system should be replaced with a Common Asylum Policy, which would be financed and managed by the EU. Likewise, the report welcomes the establishment of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and advocates that it receives sufficient resources to successfully improve EU border security. Last, but not least, the report calls for a long-term migration policy that would reconcile the concerns of the public with the needs of European labour markets given the continent’s current demographic trends.
  • Finally, regarding matters of security, the report reflects the Polish sensitivity vis-à-vis potential threats from a resurgent Russia, while recognising that other EU members, especially southern Europeans, may have different perceptions. It calls for an extensive discussion between politicians and experts from different member states to bring these diverging perceptions closer as a pre-condition for a truly effective and positive development of European foreign and security policies. The report welcomes new initiatives in the field of security, such as PESCO or the European Defence Fund, but argues to make these efforts complementary with NATO commitments, which remain crucial for Europe’s defence.

*After a first successful period in 2013-2015, which included more than 80 events in 17 EU countries and the publication of two major reports, which elaborated five strategic options on the future of the EU, the New Pact for Europe project entered a new phase in 2016-2017. The ultimate aim of this new phase of the NPE project is to work out the details of a wider ‘package deal’ to equip the EU with the tools it needs to meet the internal and external challenges it faces. This proposal will contain solutions generated by connecting the discussions on the key policy challenges, and propose changes in the way the EU and its policies are defined to avoid future fundamental crises.

National Reflection Groups have been created and met specifically for this purpose in ten EU countries (Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia), followed by transnational exchanges between these groups. This national report is the result of the work and discussions of one of these National Reflection Groups.

For more information on the NPE project, please see the project website: www.newpactforeurope.eu

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Yann-Sven Rittelmeyer
ys.rittelmeyer@epc.eu