Minister Czaputowicz discusses Europe's future at CEPS conference in Brussels
"I agree that united Europe's is a story of success. As many as 87 percent of Poles believe that our country has benefitted from European integration," Poland's top diplomat told the annual CEPS Ideas Lab conference in Brussels.
Hosted by the Centre for European Policy Studies, a leading Brussels-based think tank, the event brought together politicians, scholars, businesspeople, and journalists for talks about Europe's development prospects in the near future.
Minister Jacek Czaputowicz took part in the panel "Towards a Europe of values at the Sibiu Summit?", which was also attended by Croatian Deputy Foreign Minister Andreja Metelko-Zgombić, and the former Prime Ministers of Italy and Sweden, Paolo Gentiloni and Fredrik Reinfeldt. The panelists looked at the direction the European Union should take, and considered whether the forthcoming Sibiu Summit would be able to give Europe a new impetus.
The discussion centred on the definition of democracy, which some see as being threatened by populist movements. According to Minister Czaputowicz, democracy faces the risk of the governing elites imposing their point of view on the majority. European politicians should therefore listen to the voice of citizens, which is best expressed in the outcomes of democratic elections.
The Polish foreign policy chief went on to stress that in the spirit of responsibility for the future of the entire community, Poland advocates the strengthening of free competition and the four freedoms underpinning European integration. Today it is the four Central and Eastern European economies, headed by Poland, that propel the common market. "Strong Europe is a Europe where states do not resort to economic protectionism under the pretext of safeguarding social rights, but rather reform their ailing economies," observed Minister Czaputowicz.
The Polish foreign minister also highlighted the politicisation of the Article 7 procedure against Poland, and defended the justice system reform. "Regretfully, double standards are increasingly
visible in what European institutions are doing," said Minister Czaputowicz.
At the end of the discussion, the chief of Polish diplomacy pointed to European unity as a major source of our strength. "With some new powers, especially China, playing an ever greater role, and principles of the international order being challenged by others, such as Russia, it is key that the European Union should speak with one voice in defence of the values and principles the democratic world is based on," emphasized Minister Czaputowicz.
Established in 1983, the Centre for European Policy Studies is a think tank and forum for debate on EU-related topics. Each year it organizes the CEPS Ideas Lab conference, which allows centres of political thought from across Europe, government officials, business leaders, and representatives of European institutions to connect and discuss Europe's key problems.
At Poland's Permanent Representation to the EU, Minister Czaputowicz held a meeting with Polish officials working at European institutions. They talked about the recruitment of Poles to EU structures, their promotion at all levels of the EU, and establishing closer contact between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and high-ranking European officials.
MFA Press Office
Photo Gabriel Piętka / MSZ