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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » June 11, 2008
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Sarkozy Declares France Open to Polish Workers
June 11, 2008   
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced during a one-day visit to Warsaw that the French labor market would open up to Poles July 1. Sarkozy met with President Lech Kaczyński and Prime Minister Donald Tusk May 28 and delivered a speech in the parliament.

Until recently, French policy had been to maintain employment limits for citizens from Poland and other new EU member states until May 2009.

"This decision has a political and symbolic significance for us," Tusk said. "Thanks to it we know that the European Union, as a common home of all member nations, is a fact, not just a slogan."

During the visit, Kaczyński and Sarkozy signed a declaration on Polish-French strategic partnership that promotes close political, economic, social and cultural cooperation in bilateral relations, and in the European Union and NATO.

Sarkozy said he believed Poland would contribute to the success of the French EU presidency that starts July 1. He said that France would carry out that role "shoulder to shoulder" with Poland and that Poland and France had "many mutual interests, including common agricultural policy."

Sarkozy also thanked Kaczyński for his "compromise" concerning the Lisbon Treaty. The Polish head of state noted that in the treaty negotiations in Brussels, the French president played a key role since he "undertook to break the ice, which had seemed unbreakable."

At a news conference held jointly with Tusk, Sarkozy said that the issues discussed by the pair included NATO, the Polish initiative for the EU's eastern energy policy and defending the EU common agricultural policy. The two leaders also signed four ministerial agreements concerning recognition of academic titles and diplomas, cooperation in science, debt reduction, and protection of confidential information.

In a speech to the Polish parliament, Sarkozy stressed the closeness of Paris and Warsaw on many key international issues. He also made several references to shared history and the tradition of friendly mutual relations.
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