We use cookies to make sure our website better meets your expectations.
You can adjust your web browser's settings to stop accepting cookies. For further information, read our cookie policy.
SEARCH
IN Warsaw
Exchange Rates
Warsaw Stock Exchange - Indices
The Warsaw Voice » Politics » July 1, 2009
COVER STORY
You have to be logged in to use the ReadSpeaker utility and listen to a text. It's free-of-charge. Just log in to the site or register if you are not registered user yet.
Pole Position for EU Post
July 1, 2009 By W.Ż.    
Article's tools:
Print

Poland's former prime minister Jerzy Buzek is well ahead in the race to become the new president of the European Parliament, according to Polish politicians who in a flurry of international dealmaking have been pushing hard to install their man in the job.

After a European Union summit in Brussels June 18-19, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that Buzek was "safely ahead" in the race for the prestigious Brussels post.

Buzek's appointment as president-the equivalent of a Speaker in a national parliament-would be a coup for Poland and would be seen in Warsaw as confirmation of the country's rising influence in the EU, which it joined in 2004.

Buzek's rival for the high-profile job is Italian politician Mario Mauro, who is supported by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Buzek, who is backed by Poland's governing Civic Platform party (PO), was prime minister in 1997-2001. Today he is a prominent member of the European Parliament.

Tusk said he was satisfied with his cooperation with Polish President Lech Kaczyński at the EU summit in seeking support for Buzek. Despite an ongoing power struggle with Tusk, Kaczyński supported the government's diplomatic efforts and officially declared his full support for Buzek. Kaczyński added that the Polish hopeful was also supported by Polish Eurodeputies linked to the Law and Justice (PiS) party headed by his twin brother Jarosław Kaczyński.

"This has strengthened our negotiating position," said Tusk. "I am satisfied with my cooperation with the president."

According to Tusk, Buzek should easily win the vote within the European People's Party (EPP), the largest group in the European Parliament. PO and its junior partner in Poland's coalition government, the Polish People's Party (PSL), are members of the EPP and have 28 votes between them.
The vote during which the new president of the European Parliament will be elected is scheduled to take place July 7. Even though Berlusconi continues to insist that Mauro stands a good chance of winning, commentators say around two-thirds of EPP deputies are likely to support the Polish candidate.

Buzek has also received support from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

According to Tusk, Buzek also has the support of other smaller groups in the European Parliament.

Among the smaller European Parliament groups which are likely to support Buzek is the newly formed group of European Conservatives and Reformists. The group, set up as an initiative by PiS, the British conservatives and Czech rightwingers, is expected to have 55 members. PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński said the new group would be guided by priorities such as respect for the member states' sovereignty, development of transatlantic relations, a free market, the need to fight bureaucracy within the EU, and equality for all member states. Initially, the new group will be made up of eight parties, Kaczyński said. In addition to PiS, the British Conservatives and the Czech rightists, it will include parties from Belgium, Finland, the netherlands, Latvia and Hungary.

Lewandowski for commissioner
Apart from seeking the top European Parliament post for Buzek, the Polish government wants to secure an important post in the European Commission for a Pole.

Danuta Hübner, a Polish member of the European Commission who has won a European Parliament seat on the PO ticket, has decided to resign from her post as commissioner for regional development. Janusz Lewandowski of PO will most probably become the new Polish commissioner though it is not certain yet what commission he would head.

Lewandowski, who was chairman and then vice-chairman of the budget committee in the previous European Parliament, said in an interview that he hoped to land the post of EU commissioner for the internal market. Polish government officials have also mentioned the posts of commissioner for economic and financial affairs and commissioner for enterprise and industry in this context.

Anti-crisis plan
EU leaders at the Brussels summit also outlined a new concept for the European financial supervision system. "We will have a system that will be more advantageous to us," said Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski at the end of the meeting.

The European Commission secured approval for setting up new EU supervision authorities to protect the EU against another financial crisis in the future. The EU authorities decided to set up a European Systemic Risk Council (ESRC), made up of the governors of 27 central banks, and three new institutions to supervise banks, markets, ratings agencies, and investment fund and insurance companies. The highest-ranking members of national supervision authorities will work in the new institutions, whose aim will be to introduce uniform rules, coordinate decisions made by national supervision authorities and mediate in the event of a conflict between national supervision authorities.

Rostowski said the new system is important for Poland because it will help resolve conflicts over supervision of large transnational financial institutions between countries where these corporations have their headquarters and countries, like Poland, where they have their subsidiaries.
© The Warsaw Voice 2010-2018
E-mail Marketing Powered by SARE