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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » November 12, 2008
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President Alone at EU Summit
November 12, 2008   
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President Lech Kaczyński alone will represent Poland at the European Union's special summit Nov. 7 devoted to the global financial crisis. Prime Minister Donald Tusk has decided that the presence of government officials will not be necessary as the head of state will receive appropriate instructions concerning Poland's position on matters to be discussed at the summit. Tusk said the government position will concern such issues as the early adoption of the euro by Poland and the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.

Tusk's remarks irritated Kaczyński, who said the government had no right to give any instructions to the president. Kaczyński also stressed that the ratification of the treaty fell within the president's scope of powers.

"Lech Kaczyński should not feel offended by the government. He should be glad and say: 'I have finally got instructions,'" Bronisław Komorowski of the ruling Civic Platform (PO) party said. Komorowski also said the Polish president does not have much power in the area of foreign policy; the government is responsible for shaping it. "The lack of unity [between Poland's highest authorities] means chaos and undermines the position" of the country in the EU, Komorowski added.

As an example of political chaos, PO politicians noted the president's failure to notify the Foreign Ministry about his signing of an important document recently. Kaczyński and his Lithuanian counterpart Valdas Adamkus signed a joint declaration on a future agreement between the EU and Russia, a declaration in which they included a demand that Russia should withdraw its forces from Georgia. The Polish foreign minister, Radosław Sikorski, learned of the issue from his Lithuanian counterpart during an informal meeting of EU ministers.
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