His Excellency Waldemar Dubaniowski, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Singapore
21 Jul 2011
LT 301, level 3, 11 Slim Barracks Rise (off North Buona Vista Road) Executive Centre, NTU@one-north campus, Singapore 138664
3.00pm – 4.30pm
The Polish presidency comes at a time where the European Union (EU) is confronted by a wealth of problems, many of which have been divisive between the member-states. Ambassador Dubaniowski presented an overview of the Polish priorities during the current six-month (1 Jul – 31 Dec 2011) rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. The priorities are aimed at ensuring a growing, secured and open Europe. Within these three broad categories of Growth, Security and Openness are measures to address not only the current crisis, but the longer-term strategic problems that the EU has to confront. Among which are potential security threats arising from the instability in North Africa and the Middle East, coping with high levels of migration and the lack of social integration in the Union, and boosting its economic competitiveness amidst stiff competition globally.
When asked about the secrets of Poland’s continued success despite the global financial crisis, he cited the nation’s experience in adapting to new environments. The well-regulated banking system, alongside a strong internal market and highly qualified workforce has buffeted Poland from severe shocks attributable to the crisis. He admitted that Poland was spared the worst of the financial crisis precisely because it was not part of the single currency, and added had the country is unlikely to join the eurozone in the near future (having dropped its target of entry by 2012), though it is looking toward the longer-term goal of joining the single currency.
To close the session, Ambassador Dubaniowski reminded the audience of Poland’s openness and adaptability, as well as positive public opinion toward the EU. Being confident of the role Poland can play as a mediator of interests within the Union between East and West, and the older and new member states, he expressed optimism about the continued integration of the EU which Poland would contribute to in the next 6 months.
For more information on the Polish Presidency, visit the official website at http://pl2011.eu/en orhttp://bit.ly/ind6zB for the full Presidency programme.