Deputy Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk sums up Polish Berlin Process presidency
During a meeting with representatives of several ministries, the deputy head of Polish diplomacy outlined the achievements of Poland’s presidency of the Berlin Process, particularly the results of the Poznan Summit held in July 2019.
Deputy Minister Szynkowski vel Sęk, who is the Government’s Plenipotentiary for the Western Balkans Summit, stressed that the Poznan Summit was very well received by our partners both from the EU and the Western Balkans. The meeting in the capital of the Wielkopolska region was the biggest of the Berlin Process Summits to date – it brought together heads of government, ministers and EU commissioners as well as representatives of business, civil society and – for the first time – think tanks. As part of the summit, a high-level meeting with the OECD Secretary-General was held, during which a special report on the Western Balkans was presented.
“What makes our success even greater is that our work was hindered by the EU’s increasingly complicated agenda for the Western Balkans as well as by European elections and formation of the new European Commission,” noticed Deputy Minister Szynkowski vel Sęk. He also said that apart from the priorities of Poland’s presidency – strengthening the principle of connectivity, the economy, security, and civil society – emphasis was also placed on supporting non-governmental and expert organisations, and in-depth discussion on problems faced by young people.
The deputy head of the Polish MFA also stressed that in the course of its presidency, Poland has provided financial support for numerous initiatives addressing the Western Balkans, such as the Western Balkans Investment Fund (WBIF), the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Control Roadmap, or the anti-corruption programme. Poland contributed EUR 1,5 million to the WBIF, which in the second half of 2019 put us in the group of main donors, alongside Germany, Austria, and Norway.
In the opinion of Deputy Minister Szynkowski vel Sęk, the Poznan Summit and Poland’s presidency of the Berlin Process have taken our relations with the Western Balkans to a higher level. “It is now important to use this fact to further widen and deepen our political and economic relations with this region,” said the deputy chief of Polish diplomacy. He also noted that Poland, as the first country holding the presidency to have experienced political, social and economic transition, can lend significant support for Western Balkan partners that aspire to the EU.
The Berlin Process is an initiative launched in 2014 by German Chancellor Angela Merkel with the aim of stepping up cooperation between the Western Balkans and the EU.
The annual Western Balkans Summit is organised by the country that participates in the Process and holds its presidency. This year’s summit, held in Poznan, was hosted by Poland. At the end of 2019, Poland will hand over the Berlin Process leadership to joint Bulgarian and North Macedonian Presidency.
MFA Press Office
Photo: Tymon Markowski / MFA
MaterialsReport on Polish presidency in the Berlin Process and the Western Balkans Summit