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Mateusz Morawiecki: Poland's vision for Europe 2019.05.04

Warsaw, Poland - May 02, 2019 - The European Union is stuck in a vicious cycle of crises. If there's any hope of breaking it, the EU urgently needs to change course after May's European Parliament election. Europeans need an EU that is socially sensitive; ambitious and innovative; tough on monopolies and protectionism; and safe. Most importantly, the EU needs to return to its roots as a union of strong, equal and free nations. The time has come to reform our European democracy and to unite in the diversity that has always been Europe's great strength. We need a Union of Nations 2.0, adapting the vision of Europe's founders - Robert Schuman, Jean Monnet, Charles de Gaulle, Alcide de Gasperi and Konrad Adenauer - to the challenges of our time.

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki
Brussels – April 14, 2019
Photo courtesy of KPRM / Krystian Maj
 

Warsaw, Poland – May 02, 2019

By Mateusz Morawiecki
Prime Minister of Poland


• The EU must return to its roots as a union of nations that are strong, free and equal.

The European Union is stuck in a vicious cycle of crises. If there’s any hope of breaking it, the EU urgently needs to change course after May’s European Parliament election.

We’ve experienced many crises in the past, but the situation we find ourselves in today is by far the most serious: Brexit, subsequent waves of migration, terrorism, economic slowdown, public debt in many member states — all these have raised serious doubts about the future of the European project among its citizens.

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (center) during “Together for Europe – High Level Summit”.
Warsaw, Poland - May 01, 2019
Photo courtesy of KPRM / Krystian Maj
 
The answer to these crises in Brussels has been to centralize power, forget about democracy, transparency and accountability, and disregard national sovereignty. It is an approach that is dangerously misguided.

Unless the EU takes action, European voters will sink deeper into disillusionment. To give them new hope, the EU has to reinvent itself.

Europeans need an EU that is socially sensitive; ambitious and innovative; tough on monopolies and protectionism; and safe. Most importantly, the EU needs to return to its roots as a union of strong, equal and free nations.

Here is a five-point plan for the road ahead.

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (center) during “Together for Europe – High Level Summit”.
Warsaw, Poland - May 01, 2019
Photo courtesy of KPRM / Krystian Maj
 

Fight inequality

Europe needs a new economic model that ensures dynamic growth in a free-market economy and more effectively combats inequalities.

That will require a fair tax system and ambitious programs to reduce poverty and break glass ceilings, especially for young, small and medium companies.

These are the initiatives where the EU must take the lead. Inequalities exist not just between citizens, but also between countries, and fighting these imbalances — using cohesion and structural funds, for example — has been one of the EU’s greatest successes. It is a vehicle of European modernization.

If we want to shore up support for the EU, we need to increase the role of these policies, which citizens see as tangible evidence that Europe cares about their future.


Boost innovation

Europe has fallen prey to austerity policies. To prepare for the challenges of the future, Europe should instead create an ambitious infrastructure investment program that will drive higher economic growth and raise living standards across the bloc.

The economic slowdown we’re experiencing requires a countercyclical fiscal policy. At the time of the lowest interest rates in history, not using this instrument to stimulate the economy would be a serious sin.

As a Continent, we must also become leaders in advanced technologies and industry. The EU should set up a European innovation strategy that sets the agenda on artificial intelligence, the internet of things, big data and machine learning. We should also support building European champions that can compete on a global scale.

A bold EU budget will send a powerful message to citizens that we are taking action. We can afford it, if we take the appropriate steps — including reducing the European value-added tax (VAT) and corporate income tax (CIT) gap.
The annual loss of revenues from these is about €300 billion — about twice as much as the EU’s annual budget. It’s time to finally solve this problem.

We also need to ensure the fair taxation of digital technology giants. Passing legislation on a European Digital Tax will not suppress innovation. To the contrary, it will help finance technological advances in the decades ahead.

Taxes do not have to be high if everyone honestly pays their share. This is what justice and solidarity are all about – the fundamental values of the EU. It is time to put them into practice and make the concept of a tax haven history.

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (center) with Andrej Babiš and Victor Orban, during “Together for Europe – High Level Summit”.
Warsaw, Poland - May 01, 2019
Photo courtesy of KPRM / Krystian Maj
 

Fight monopolies and protectionism

The EU urgently needs to establish a real common market, to give European entrepreneurs the freedom they need to innovate and provide new services.

For too long, several countries with protectionist ambitions have stood in the way of making this a reality, under the pretext of protecting local labor markets. This type of intra-EU protectionism is hurting millions of European consumers and employees.

The EU should take action to ensure that we don’t stifle the vision and diligence of those who would increase our competitiveness through innovations in the service sector.

We also need to wage a real fight against global and regional monopolies, including online platforms and networks.
The EU should create an authority — a type of European Anti-Monopoly Office — with a mandate to combat practices infringing on the interests of European consumers and EU economies.
 


Photo courtesy of Politico.eu
 

Boost spending and protect borders

Europe is a post-war success story. We owe this lasting peace to NATO, the strongest military alliance in history and the backbone of European defense.

The face of war is changing. To make sure Europe is truly safe in the years ahead, we will have to focus on innovation in the military sector and dramatically increase spending on defending our democracies against cyberattacks and new forms of hybrid warfare.

Maintaining a rational migration policy is also crucial to our safety. It is for national governments to protect their countries' borders, and although European cooperation can be helpful, this basic principle should not change.

We should also be wary of support given to Russia by some EU countries under the guise of economic cooperation. Projects such as Nord Stream 2 are dangerous for energy security and, as a result, the safety of the entire bloc.

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (center) during “Together for Europe – High Level Summit”.
Warsaw, Poland - May 01, 2019
Photo courtesy of KPRM / Krystian Maj
 

Don’t forget about democracy

More and more Europeans are wary of the EU institutions and doubt their impartiality. Brussels appears to treat certain member states better than others, with approaches to budget deficits, state aid, or institutional reforms seeming to differ according to the countries involved.

The EU needs to do a much better job of ensuring the rules are applied fairly among its member countries. It is unacceptable for EU authorities to criticize some countries’ institutions for practices that do not raise objections elsewhere.

Brussels also often betrays a lack of understanding for the domestic situation in countries in Central and Eastern Europe that have gone through the hell of World War II and communism. Instead of being an honest broker, the institutions become judges in their own case.

The answer to this problem is simple: more democracy. Fewer decisions should be made by politicians in Brussels, and more responsibility given to the democratically elected representatives of the EU’s member countries.

As it stands, it is too easy for the European Commission to ignore the voice of national parliaments, even when a majority of EU governments share a similar opinion.
The procedures known as “yellow” and “orange card” have proven to be ineffective.
If citizens are to have a real influence on decisions taken in Brussels, this must change.

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (center) during “Together for Europe – High Level Summit”.
Warsaw, Poland - May 01, 2019
Photo courtesy of KPRM / Krystian Maj
 

At its core, the EU is about freedomeconomic freedom, freedom of speech, freedom from poverty and exclusion.
Without freedom, building a common European home and a common European future becomes impossible.

The time has come to reform our European democracy and to unite in the diversity that has always been Europe’s great strength.
We need a Union of Nations 2.0, adapting the vision of Europe’s founders — Robert Schuman, Jean Monnet, Charles de Gaulle, Alcide de Gasperi and Konrad Adenauer — to the challenges of our time.

Europe was founded on the idea that its member states are equal within the alliance.
Only once Europe is truly a group of equal and self-respecting states, can the Continent become a superpower.

Mateusz Morawiecki

Mateusz Morawiecki is prime minister of Poland.


Source: Politico.eu

https://www.politico.eu/  



ASTROMAN Magazine - 2019.03.05

Emmanuel Macron: Renewing Europe


https://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=2696  



Editor-in-Chief of ASTROMAN magazine: Roman Wojtala, Ph.D.


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