|Andrzej Duda (Law and Justice Party (PiS), since Aug 2015)
Beata Szydło (Law and Justice Party, since Oct 2015)
|MEPs||51 (joined the EU in 2004)|
|Next presidential election
Next legislative election
By November 2019
|Presidency of the Council||January-June 2025|
|Last meeting with Theresa May||16 November 2017 at the EU Social Summit|
|Brexit priorities||Poland has urged London to protect its 831,000 nationals in the UK following the murder of a 40-year-old Polish man. The country’s priority will be to secure the rights of those citizens currently residing in the UK.
Furthermore, Poland sees the UK as its key ally in pushing a tough line on Russia over its conflict with Ukraine and in defence cooperation. Poland wants to maintain its relationship with the UK as a powerful NATO partner.
As a recipient of EU funds, Poland’s concern will also be what happens to the EU budget after the UK – a large contributor – leaves.
The UK and Poland have been close allies in the EU for many years and very often saw eye to eye on issues related to the EU’s competences and the transition of powers from Member States to Brussels.
|What Mrs Szydło said on Brexit
|28 November 2016
“Poland – as a member of the EU – considers it very important what objectives and what priorities will be decided. We want the new relations to be built on mutual trust. As for reciprocity in terms of the rights and privileges, they have to be negotiated and there needs to be the right balance. This is the condition that will certainly be brought up by Poland.”
Mr Kaczyński, chairman of Law and Justice Party, on 7 Feb 2017
“Poland stands ready to help its old friend Britain reach the best possible Brexit deal”.
“But some people really want to make it as tough as possible for the United Kingdom.”
“Meanwhile some of us would like to sustain a kind of partnership with the United Kingdom. Not within Europe – since you do not wish to remain inside – but very close and friendly relations from outside the European Union. Poland belongs to the second category of voices.”
|Poland’s priorities||This Government has endured problems, both domestically and internationally, as its reforms of the constitutional court are considered to undermine democratic standards and the rule of law. In July 2017, the Government introduced three bills, a judiciary reform package, that will see all Supreme Court judges and judges on the National Judiciary Council removed and replaced by judges appointed by the Parliament. Critics say the independence of the judiciary is at stake, as the separation of powers will be diminished. The reforms have prompted protests from in and outside Poland. The European Commission is considering whether it should trigger Article 7, that, if approved, could temporarily strip Poland of its voting rights in the European Council.
More protests emerged when the Law and Justice party wanted to strengthen its rules on abortion practice.
Furthermore, Poland has been leading a group of Eastern-European countries that refuses to take in refugees from the Middle East, much to the dismay of many other EU countries.
Economically speaking, the Government seeks 4% of GDP growth this year.
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