Politics

Polish Left proposes “Europe Day” holiday and leasing German nuclear plants


Poland’s left-wing opposition has unveiled a new set of policies focused on strengthening security, supporting Ukraine, and “de-Putinising Europe”, in particular through increased cooperation within the European Union on energy, defence, intelligence and housing.

At a convention on Saturday titled “A Safe Poland in a United Europe”, The Left (Lewica), an alliance that is the third largest group in parliament, announced 12 policy proposals.

The first is to support Ukraine’s path to EU membership, a goal also shared by Poland’s ruling national-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party. Another is to declare 2 May a national public holiday to mark “Europe Day”.

“On 2 May, we woke up in the European Union”, said Robert Biedroń, one of the leaders of The Left, referring to Poland’s entry to the EU on 1 May 2004. “We should celebrate this day.”

A further proposal is to end the ability of single member states to block certain EU policies. The Left referred to this as the “liberum veto”, the name of a similar parliamentary device in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the 17th and 18th centuries that is seen by many to have been part of its downfall.

Biedroń said that the veto power allows single EU member states to block policies that would benefit the entire community. As an example, he pointed to the Polish government blocking a climate package.

The Left’s other proposals focused on creating or strengthening other forms of cooperation across the EU, including a common energy policy, European armed forces, a European anti-missile shield, a joint counterintelligence service, and a European housing fund.

They also called for a common European minimum wage, with Włodzimierz Czarzasty, another of The Left’s leaders, proposing that it could be set at two thirds of the average wage in each member state.

Adrian Zandberg, the last of the alliance’s three figureheads, called for Europe to “move away from fossil fuels permanently” as this was the only way to “permanently regain security”. There should be a joint EU entity “managing funds for clean energy sources throughout Europe”, he said.

Zandberg also suggested that Poland – whose government is looking to build the country’s first nuclear power stations – could lease nuclear power plants from Germany, which has been closing them in recent years. However, Germany’s environment minister recently expressed scepticism towards Poland’s nuclear plans.

Germany to use “legal instruments” in response to Poland’s nuclear power plans

The Left also called on the EU to set up a “Helping Hand Fund” that would support countries that have taken in refugees from Ukraine. They would receive €500 per month for each refugee.

Poland has been the main destination for those fleeing Ukraine, with almost three million people crossing its border since Russia’s invasion. It is estimated that half or more remain in Poland, which, under The Left’s proposal, would mean the EU paying the country at least €750 million per month.

The Polish government has also repeatedly called for the EU to create new funds to support countries hosting the refugees. In a joint proposal with Germany last month, it suggested member states be granted €1,000 per refugee.

One million Ukraine refugees receive Polish ID numbers as government extends support for host families

Main image credit: Slawomir Kaminski / Agencja Wyborcza.pl





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.