Poland’s Eastern Partnership initiative given the green light - press review

16:31, 23 June 2008
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EU members have approved the new program

EU members have approved the new programme of cooperation with the bloc’s eastern neighbours proposed by Poland, according to a Polish press review prepared by Polskie Radio.

Four years after joining the European Union Poland can celebrate: for the first time its important initiative has been approved by Europe, writes a columnist of GAZETA WYBORCZA. Poland, supported by Sweden, recently presented the idea of the Eastern Partnership, that is, co-operation between the EU and its eastern neighbours. Various economic packages, proper visa policy and intensified aid should now follow. Poland should explain to Ukraine that the partnership is a great chance to get closer to the EU. Today, neither Kyiv nor Brussels seems to be ready for the future Ukrainian membership. However, this situation can change within five or ten years, claims the columnist.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedyev visited Belarus last weekend and had a meeting with its leader Aleksander Lukashenka. As a columnist of DZIENNIK writes, they both criticised those, who would like to ‘re-write’ the history of World War II. The post-Soviet vision of history is the last thing Moscow and Minsk have in common. The relations between Russia and Belarus are cold. It’s a good opportunity for the EU and Poland. Let’s finally answer the recent efforts of Lukashenka, who has been obviously trying to fix his contacts with the West. We can agree – under some conditions. Lukashenka has to free political prisoners and allow the Belarusian free press to exist. As a reward, Poland can offer financial aid and economic co-operation. While Medvedyev is trying to eat Belarus, we can swallow it first, writes the columnist.

Poland needs to host the American anti-missile shield on its soil, writes Pawel Zalewski, a conservative politician and expert on international issues, in his article printed by RZECZPOSPOLITA. Recently, this issue has been fiercely discussed in the country, as the Americans are not keen to pay billions to Warsaw as a reward for hosting the shield. However, the Poles need the shield for their own security. Warsaw should hurry up: ahead of the presidential election in the US, the White House is probably more keen to accept some reasonable compromise than after the voting.

The liberal Polish government is frequently accused of postponing radical reforms. The critics, such as ‘The Economist’, a leading British weekly newspaper, are not necessarily right, points out Professor Ireneusz Krzeminski, a sociologist, in his article printed by the FAKT daily. To govern well, one mustn’t be so keen to reform every aspect of the life of his country. That’s what the previous, conservative government had been trying to achieve and after two years the voters decided that the reformers should go. Politicians are supposed to bear in mind what their voters expect them to do. According to the opinion polls, the Poles are now happy as never before. Therefore, they don’t wish to see their life, so satisfactory and pleasant, to be brutally changed by painful reforms, writes Professor Krzeminski.

Polskie Radio

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